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Alive In Christ,
Now and Forever!

"For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God." (Col. 3:3)

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October 7, 2009

Friends that I miss

by on October 7, 2009. Filed under Personal

 

I miss my dad most of all. I wish that I could spend time with him. When I was young I was filled with “things to do.” Now I understand the value of simply “being with someone.”

I also miss my once best friend Leo Jett and my other once best friend Bob Prior.

A result of missing these friends is that I will no longer take for granted time spent with people. I will not rush. For example when I visit my mother-in-law I purpose to take my time with her. I’d spend the day with her except that it would wear both of us out. So I spend an hour or two at least each time I visit. No hurry, no worries.

Ed

September 26, 2009

Protected: A Homeschool Family video

by on September 26, 2009. Filed under Thoughts

 

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

September 17, 2009

50 years old and finally something worthwhile to say

by on September 17, 2009. Filed under Christian life / church, Personal

 

Being over 50 years old there are few things I could say that are worthwhile I think. There are a few things in particular I feel I really need to say.

I’ve been married 26 years now. Over all I give our marriage 4/5 stars but I think that  is optimistic, overlooking some serious faults that we had, that I had early on. Our marriage is great now in my opinion. Five out of five stars. Maybe I’m still being optimistic.

Early in our marriage I was so very blind in so very many areas of life. One might look at me and think that I had a great work ethic. I knew how to work hard and give everything I had to the job and not be lazy. The problem was that I had my priorities mixed up. I put my work above relationships. I put technology above relationships. I could make quite a list of all the things that I put above relationships.

One of the areas that I was completely blind to-and I thought about this a lot whether or not I truly was completely blind-was how harsh I was with my wife and my children. My loved ones, specifically my parents and my sister,  tried to bring that to my attention. In other aspects of child training I know I did well enough. Any criticism will continue to fall without a response from me. But even if aspects of my child training were correct I went about it in an overly emotional and often times harsh manner. I really didn’t know what I was doing, how I was coming across, how I was affecting and hurting people, the people that I loved the most.

How could I be so completely blind! Seeing it so clearly now as I do helps me to realize more so that there are things that I’m blind to, things where I need to listen to my loved ones who are trying to correct me and bring things to my attention.

This also helps me to see other people and recognize their blindness. By experience I also recognize a certain amount of futility in trying to make them see what they can’t see. I will admit that I was so stubborn and arrogant such that I was less likely to listen to anyone. I now witness in the lives of others humility, a teachable spirit, and genuine desire for maturity and growth. It varies from person to person how willing they are to listen and learn something new about an area in which they are blind.

I have much hope for myself and for others. The others I know won’t have to wait until they’re 50 to learn how to be gentle, patient, and loving even in the midst of whatever sort of chaos sin brings about.

There is always so much more that I’d like to say but my disability greatly limits what I can communicate.

Mercy triumps over judgement.

Alive In Christ, Now and Forever,

Ed Rodatus

July 23, 2009

Just Say “No!” to Distraction

by on July 23, 2009. Filed under Christian life / church, Personal

 

“…but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”

(James 1:14-15)

Temptation isn’t sin. Jesus was tempted. We, too, are tested in this way. Satan tempts us every day. In doing so our faith is tested and we find out if it is pure; by going through the trial our faith can become stronger.

As it clearly says in James it is by our evil desire that we are enticed. That gives birth to sin and death.

The words that I like to use to help me remember this warning are these:

Distraction, Attraction, and Destruction. They are simple enough for me to remember.

Being alive I can (easily) be distracted/tempted. One can hardly go through the checkout at a grocery store without some magazine that distracts us from our opportunities to glorify God by our life. I can assure you that I am often distracted. But I am to refocus and to take every thought captive to obedience and the submission to the Lord Jesus Christ.  I do not consider that distraction to be sin – unless I allow it to become sin.

When distraction becomes attraction then I have sinned. It is a very short step, so easy to allow, unless I say “NO!” to the initial distraction. It is one of the areas where a knee-jerk reaction is merited, where it is necessary. If I don’t immediately say “No” to the temptation then that becomes sin. And sin brings death – destruction.

Distraction – Attraction – Destruction

That’s the progression as I see it.

Think about the Garden of Eden. There was the command, “don’t eat from this tree.” But Satan tempted. Man (woman) was distracted from their devotion to God. Rather than not allow the distraction they became attracted to the forbidden fruit. And they sinned bringing about the destruction of man.

Distraction – Attraction – Destruction

I repeat it over and over to help me be careful at the point of distraction. I am all too aware of the progression. I’ve personally experienced it. So I will promptly turn away from a distraction. That has kept me from sin on many, many occasions.

There are the blatant, obvious kinds of distractions that entice us by our evil desires and then there are the subtle, stealthy kind of distractions. Cheerleaders are of the first blatant kind of distraction and perhaps football is like the second subtle kind of distraction. I’m not saying that watching football is sinful. But it is sinful if we allow it to take us away (distract us) from our responsibilities. And I would define our responsibilities as they pertain to God, our family, our employer, etc.

If someone watches football when they are supposed to be at work then I expect that person will be fired — Distraction – Attraction – Destruction.

If someone watches football when they are supposed to be spending time with their family then I expect that person will have conflict in their family — Distraction – Attraction – Destruction.

If someone watches football when they are supposed to be worshiping God then I expect — Distraction – Attraction – Destruction.

Go ahead and watch football when it isn’t distracting you from your responsibilities.

If I liked football the way some people do then I would certainly watch it. But the moment it distracts me from what is right to do then I would turn my head and my heart away. When it comes to the cheerleaders, they are always a distraction from what is right. So whether it is football or a cheerleader, don’t let it remain a distraction.  Do what is right. Turn away from a distraction. Just say “No!”  It is a simple technique that works for me most of the time.

January 22, 2009

Fleeting Body, Enduring Grace

by on January 22, 2009. Filed under Personal, Thoughts, health / disability / pain

 

fleet·ing, adj.
passing swiftly; vanishing quickly; transient; transitory:

I’m 55. I used to think that was really, really old, like back when I was a teenager. Now I look back and think, wow. Here I am-old. The people that I thought were old, like my mom, are now really, really, really old.

It’s all relative, isn’t it. I guess when you are 5 or 6 you might think that a teenager is old. I don’t know; I’m too old to remember.

I have a lot of favorite verses in God’s Word.  They are an enduring encouragement to me.

In Isaiah 40:8 and 1 Peter 1:24-25, we see this:

“The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God stands forever.”

I think that is what I’d like this written on my tombstone. I will live forever based on the promises in God’s Word. But my body will wither and fall. I want anyone seeing my tombstone to know what is important and what is not.

I’m tired. My constant pain is very much like a thorn in the flesh to me.  I have to live life in spite of it. (I couldn’t begin to express how difficult it is to do so.) I really want to go home to Heaven. It is certainly better by far.

Even though I have constant pain I also have God’s enduring grace. It empowers me to take the next step even while in pain. Without God’s grace, there would be no power and no hope. Praise God for His moment by moment provision!

Maranatha! Lord Jesus, come!

January 2, 2009

Sources of Water that Add Humidity to a House

by on January 2, 2009. Filed under Uncategorized

 

I might have missed some other sources and I probably have the order wrong, but I came up with this list 1st thing as I woke up this morning when my thinking is usually clearer than the rest of the day.

Sources of Water that Add Humidity to a House:

9. furniture, walls, all house – it wicks up humidity from air and then wicks it back to air – works as temporary storage of water
8. plants
7. “bowls” of water such as the toilet, the dirt in a potted plants, a glass of water..
6. doing laundry
5. from outdoors when weather permits
4. people – they eat, drink, and then breathe and sweat it back out
3. taking showers
2. cooking
1. Humidifier!

(Thanks, Josh, for adding #1!)

January 1, 2009

No Other Rock

by on January 1, 2009. Filed under Thoughts

 

..

I found a website that I’m enjoying:

 No Other Rock

No Other Rock

October 14, 2008

Flashlights and my Favorite Place to Get Them

by on October 14, 2008. Filed under Promotions

 

3W CREE LED Flashlight review:

Flashlights are important to me because of my disability. I use them every night. Since my feet can’t feel properly to help me balance I use other information to help me. My most important help comes from either using a cane or some other thing (wall, handrail, someone’s shoulder). But I also need to be able to see. When there are shadows throwing off my vision especially in unstable environments such as anywhere other than my own home then the likelihood of my falling down can be quite high. Even a cane only helps me as much as I am able to see my environment.

LED Wholesalers

The absolute best place to get a good flashlight is from LED Wholesalers.com and my favorite flashlight is this one.

CREE 7220

It uses either a CR123A -OR- 2 AA batteries.

I have tested this flashlight using two rechargeable AA batteries. It maintained full brightness about 3.5 hours.  Using a single rechargeable CR123A (RCR123A) lasted exactly 45 minutes.

Using the RCR123A after about 20 minutes the flashlight became very hot. It didn’t bother me using the AA batteries. But using the single RCR123A it became almost too hot to hold. That really doesn’t bother me because I only use a flashlight in short spurts, just long enough to transport from here to there. I suppose if I was looking for something using the flashlight then I would be better off using 2 AA batteries. I suppose the heat is distributed better with 2 AA’s than with one RCR123A.

September 28, 2008

The Kindness of Others

by on September 28, 2008. Filed under Christian life / church, health / disability / pain

 

I am often reminded of certain instances when we discovered I had cancer.

On the one hand Georgia and I were overwhelmed. Our world was turned upside down. Normal life came to a grinding stop as we were thrust into an entirely new dimension managing my health issues. Words are not enough for me to describe all that occurred during the first few years of our fighting cancer. My youngest son was five years old at the time. In a way he lost both his dad and his mom because we were both called into battle. He, too, was overwhelmed. The battle seemed more than any of us could handle.

But throughout the insanity of our battle with cancer there was another aspect to it which gave us stability, hope and strength. This other aspect wasn’t new to us except that its intensity, efficacy, and preciseness came at a level previously unknown to us. Our insane, overwhelming world of cancer was corrected and controlled by simple acts of kindness given us by unexpected and sometimes unusual sources.

Even at the time it was evident that these acts of kindness, although preformed by the hands of people, had their source and inspiration in the heart of God Himself. There were doctors, chemotherapy treatments, and other instruments of healing that were certainly all part of God’s plan. But in addition to the practical and “indicated” courses of action for my health care were numerous acts of kindness. They were not practical. They were without explanation. Their importance cannot be measured. They were a gift from God.

Medical science has come a long way. The processes for bone marrow transplants are well defined. The prognosis for a positive outcome was very good. However Georgia and I had experienced a roller coaster of hopes dashed. From the first time I became ill, six months and numerous doctors with wrong diagnoses, the eventual diagnosis of cancer, months of chemo only to find out it didn’t kill all my cancer, and now a bone marrow transplant, we have become leery if not cynical. Medical science had let us down too many times to trust it now.

Georgia was understandably discouraged. I was in a hospital bed at Johns Hopkins Hospital, extremely weak, in intense pain, and feeling like I wasn’t going to make it. She had been with me all morning and needed to take care of her own needs. She needed to connect with God in a meaningful way. As I slept with morphine pumped directly into my bloodstream she took the opportunity to find a “lonely place to pray.” She went to the hospital cafeteria, got some tea or soup or something, and found a quiet corner with empty tables where she could sit down by herself.

Another lady came all the way over to Georgia’s quiet corner and with other empty tables in the area this bold woman sat right down across from Georgia. Georgia wanted nothing more than to be alone and connect with God. And this lady disrupted everything. But wait!

I’m afraid I don’t remember the details of this account. But I do know is that this lady ended up to be a Messianic Jew who loved the Lord Jesus Christ and wanted to show kindness to Georgia. The woman talked with Georgia, encouraged Georgia, and, I think, prayed with Georgia. (I said that I don’t remember the details.) Her act of kindness guided Georgia into a meaningful connection with God. We don’t know her name. There is no possibility of my thanking her. But I can (and do) praise God for her involvement in our life during a time of great need.

This is just one example of numerous such instances that occurred not only during the heat of our battle but during my entire life. The older I get the more I understand the miracle of it all. Leo Tolstoy got it right in his most popular of stories. At the end of it he quotes, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25). Read the entire story here at http://thriceholy.net/Texts/Tolstoy.html .

I could never go back, find the woman who encouraged Georgia, and thank her for her kindness. There are thousands perhaps even millions of such instances of selfless love, simple acts of kindness, from the hand of God (not the goodness of man). It is impossible to thank even one of these people and how much more–I can’t even imagine that I could thank all of them. But I can praise God continually and acknowledge Him as the true source even if occasionally at the hands of unbelievers.

Please consider what you can do today to be kind, selflessly love those in your own home or even a stranger. Be a part of God’s miracle in someone else’s life today. I believe this is what it means to offer your body as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1). Romans 12 tells us “love must be sincere”, “be devoted to one another in brotherly love”, “Practice hospitality.” and “Share with God’s people who are in need.”  Our love and worship of God includes such service, such acts of kindness. God is glorified.

September 14, 2008

Lightning Bolts of Pain

by on September 14, 2008. Filed under health / disability / pain

 

I’ve identified five types of “lightning bolt” pain that I experience. Except for the last one these “lightning bolts” only last for a split second which I feel in entire body. I’ve never been hit by lightning so I can’t really compare my pain with a true lightning bolt experience. But I have been shocked by the tens of thousands of volts from an ignition coil.

1. Unexpected sharp sounds cause pain like a lightning bolt throughout my body. I physically jump. I have absolutely no control over it. If I’m sitting in a quiet room and somebody drops a pan or even something smaller in the adjoining kitchen I will jump with pain.

2. Any kind of touch on my hands or feet will cause pain. The odd thing is that I can touch you and experience a small amount of pain but if you touch me I will feel a large amount of pain. And if that touch is unexpected then the pain is a whole body lightning bolt.

3. The memory of pain will usually cause a lightning bolt of pain. In other words if someone unexpectedly touched my hand or foot causing a lightning bolt of pain then if that memory comes to mind I will experience a similar lightning bolt of pain. This can be a day or even a week later. Odd, isn’t it?

4. Idiopathic lightning bolts of pain will sometimes occur. (I really just wanted to use the word idiopathic.) Seriously though I do get lightning bolts of pain for absolutely no reason at all. I’ll just be sitting there and then “kaboom!” I just got hit by lightning! I really don’t know this but sometimes I wonder if it’s something going on in my unconscious mind that brings about those random lightning bolts. Or maybe it’s something else.

5. This last one isn’t exactly a lightning bolt and doesn’t really affect my whole body like the other four times listed above. But it seemed important at included in this list because like a lightning bolt it lasts for only a fraction of a second. Well, usually. What will happen unexpectedly and idiopathicly (is that a word?) I feel like a sharp knife is jabbed straight into the top of my toe. I’ve never had that happen in real life so again this is only a perception. But it’s a very painful perception. Usually for only a fraction of a second a knife is thrust into the top of my toe and it really, really hurts. Only rarely does that pain linger for only a couple of seconds. Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! When it lasts for a fraction of a second the offended foot will jump and by the time it jumps the pain is gone. But when it lingers, ouch! Ouch! Ouch!

I have several of these “lightning bolts” every day. Although they are painful they usually not a significant problem.

The more significant problem that I have is the constant pain which is accumulative. It adversely affects everything in my life. I am totally disabled because of it. Maybe I’ll describe that pain in another journal entry. But these lightning bolts have been on my mind and I wanted to document what I know about them.

All journal entries are copyright by Ed Rodatus - all rights reserved.
(Except the entries in the "joni" category. All the "joni" posts are from the Joni and Friends daily email devotional.)

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