Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Shoulder Surgery #2

Ever since my initial shoulder surgery, I have lived with a constant popping noise and mild to moderate pain when my shoulder moved up and out. At first, my physical therapist and doctor thought it would naturally fix itself. However, after 7 months my doctor decided to take more aggressive measure to determine what was causing the issue.

Thursday, December 10, I had a shoulder appointment that resulted in me having an MRI with dye to examine my shoulder. On the following Monday, the doctor’s office called to inform me the MRI did not reveal anything that required surgery. Wednesday, I called for more information, and was told I had a severe case of bursitis, which was great news as it is treatable without surgery.

On December 17, I went in to receive an injection that would address the issue… instead, we scheduled surgery for Monday, December 21 to explore what was causing the issues and fix it! Obviously, there were lots of emotions, and I left feeling as though I had taken a cheap shot to the gut.

Christy and I were immediately in scrambling mode as we had to figure out who could and would watch our kids, what we would do about our Christmas, and what we would do the Christmas and holiday break in general. We decided to do our family Christmas on Saturday morning, which was great fun (). Then we setup a drop of the kids with her parents in Atoka on Sunday, and reserved a hotel room in OKC for my 6:30AM surgery time.

To start off of Monday morning, we woke up at 4:00AM in order to make it to the hospital on time. The good news was that we were right on time; the bad news is that we went to the wrong hospital!!! Thankfully, we made it in time and the staff did not seem too irritated with us.

The arthroscopic surgery revealed I had two major issues in my shoulder. First, there was, “a ton” of scar tissue. Second, one of my ligaments was too tight, so they sliced it in order to release the pressure/tension. After my operation, the doctor prescribed some pain meds, nausea meds, and a CPM (Continuous Passive Motion) machine… aka torture device!

With all of this, there is a great deal of good news. They have fixed my shoulder (I hope). This surgery was mild in comparison to the first surgery. We will still make it Dallas for Christmas with our family. While the CPM is very time consuming (6 hours a day), it rotates my shoulder 160* adduction/abduction and 80* internal/external rotation (it took 3-4 months to get to that point last time). While there is still a great deal of swelling, the pain level does not require constant pain pills, and I do not have to wear the sling unless I am in public (so people can see my shoulder is not normal).

All in all, I am still very pleased with my doctor, Jimmy Conway. His staff has been incredible to work with, and they never seemed annoyed when I call with my list of questions. This surgery turned out to be relatively minor (compared to the first surgery), and it looks like the recovery time will be much shorter too. So why my initial thoughts were a Scrooge-ish merry Christmas to me, now it is a legitimate Merry Christmas to me… and Merry Christmas Everybody!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

4 Book Reviews

It: How Churches and Leaders Can Get It and Kee...
Craig Groeschel

Groeschel offers up practical information on what churches and leaders need to make a significant difference for God. While "IT" is not easily definable, it is simply more of Jesus and a heart abandoned for Christ. You may not be able to know what it is, but everyone will know if you do or do not have it! The founder of (Edmond, OK), witnessed a powerful presence from God that he calls It at work in many churches. What is this transformational force? How can you and your ministry get—and keep—It? Combining in-your-face honesty with off-the-wall humor, this lively book tells how any believer can obtain It.

Holy Ambition: What it Take to Make a Difference for God.
Chip Ingram

Holy Ambition provides the reader with a practical guide on how to live and do great things with God. He is looking, desiring, wanting people to use, and if we seek to be useful for His Kingdom, we will be used! Each chapter is insightful and well thought through. My only critique would be that his final chapter seemed a bit lackluster.

Family Driven Faith: Doing What It Takes to Raise Sons and Daughters Who Walk with God
Voddie T. Baucham Jr.

Baucham is seen as anti-youth ministry, when he is in reality pro-family and pro-discipleship. His approach and view on church angers many, threatens most everyone, but should challenge all. Through the entirety of his work, Voddie places the utmost importance on the family as the setting for true biblical discipleship. Not only does he mention this, he gives practical guidance for family worship, reciting and study of catechisms, Bible study, and other methods of true family discipleship. While I agree that what we are currently doing in the church is not nearly as effective as it needs to be and that the family is the primary place for discipleship, I am not a fan of his fully integrated model. This is a really good book that should be read by any parent who falsely thinks it is the youth or children’s minister’s job to disciple their kids… Home is the Key!

The Necessity of Prayer
E. M. Bounds
Prayer is the key to unlocking God power in our lives. Bounds is the master of communicating the role of prayer in every aspect of our lives as Christians. He is able to integrate Scripture and other examples to prove his point. This is a classic work on prayer... and free through the Logos iPhone ap.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

AT&T is the Worst... There's a Map for That

A few weeks ago Verizon debuted one of the best advertising campaigns I can remember. Taking a page off of Apple’s patronizing of the PC, they counter the iPhone’s “There’s an Ap for that” and created “There’s a Map for that.” AT&T (my guess would be Apple) responded with a lawsuit trying to get the ads removed from production… ironic to say the least.

AT&T’s pathetic claim was that the advertisements were misleading although it was very clear they were comparing the 3G coverage. Today, an article was posted on citing consumer report that rated AT&T as the worst cell phone service provider, which is anything but shocking to an iPhone and AT&T user.

The most humorous part of the survey was that Verizon was rated #1, again AT&T was dead last. If I were offering my opinion and advice to AT&T, I would like them to drop their attempts to argue that their service coverage is good and invest in making it better. New and/or improved cell phone towers would at least get rid of “There’s A Map for that!”

Here are some of those TV ads:

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Obama Leads a Movement of NOPE

That didn't take long! According to the latest Gallup poll, Obama's job approval rating is the lowest level ever recorded for a president at this point in his term. To all of you who were fired up about the movement of hope, it appears that the majority of the country is now seeing it as a movement of NOPE.

During the post campaign addresses his staffers were bragging about how they controlled the media and were able to get them to cover what they wanted covered. Obama used his fantastic rhetoric to overshadow his inexperience and lack of what the country needs most, quality leadership. That matched with a lame duck in John McCain gave him the Whitehouse. Now, it appears as though the majority of Americans - understand this includes many people who voted for him - are not only unimpressed, they are ready for a change.

The bad news for our current President is that it is only going to get worse for the party of nope as health care legislation is discussed and cap & trade lingers, understand that the democrats and their policies are just making it easier for the Republicans to regain control of everything. What seems unreal in his epic slide is that it has all taken place when Obama and his party have a death grip on the House and Senate. They could have done whatever they wanted as the conservatives sat by helpless, instead the democrats have fumbled around and made a bigger mess of things on Capitol hill than what they “inherited.”

Optimism on economy fading.
Democrat (Reid, Nevada) makes ignorant remark about slavery.
Obama's approval below 50%.
Obama, "Nation must spend it's way out of recession."
10 million could lose employer-based coverage under Senate health care bill.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Cole’s Poll (Week 14)

1. Alabama – After spanking Florida, they have earned the top spot!
2. Texas – Barely, barely, barely survived McCoy’s worst decision ever… and that dude named Suh!
3. TCU – Will lose if they play Florida, by a bunch
4. Cincinnati – What a way for this team to remain undefeated, reminiscent of the Iowa Hawkeyes run.
5. Florida – Tebow, there’s no crying in football!!!
6. Ohio State – Yawn…
7. Boise State – Congratulations on beating one quality team all year.
8. Iowa – Got into the BCS after a great season and will have their horses back to showcase if they deserve it!
9. Oregon – Most of me would like to remove them from the top 10 for losing to Boise to kick off this football season.
10. Georgia Tech – The way the run football is old school and fun to watch!

• Kudos to the BCS this year for the imagination and getting it right. Sure Texas looked pathetic in the Big 12 championship, but no one can rightly argue any of the big bowls. They also put the matchups together that people want to watch.
• I am interested in watching TCU verses Boise State, Florida verses Cincy, & Texas verses Bama. Last year TCU snuck past Boise in the Poinsettia Bowl by 1 point, it will be another good game as the Broncos return to the spot of their greatest moment. Florida verse Cincy has the making of a letdown game for the Gators, a la Utah’s destruction of Bama last year. It will be interesting to see how Tebow goes out… and aren’t you glad the messiah coverage will be limited this year! Texas for Bama will not be a blowout as many experts are predicting. It will be a competitive game, just remember back to Bama verse Auburn. As much as it pains me to repeat this, kudos to the BCS!
• Outside of the Oregon and Ohio State, nobody cares, but that is preset… and it’s about time do away with the Rose Bowl tradition. Also, the Orange Bowl is perfect too, Iowa verses Georgia Tech is fitting. The Heart attack Hawkeyes verse Ramblin Wreck will be a good game and measuring stick for both teams.

Lay 'em Down


WisdomHunter93 † | MySpace Video

Friday, December 4, 2009

AI, The Answer, Is Back!

Some people cannot stand him, they call him selfish, a ball-hog, and many other things. I, however, have always liked watching him play... and his AI3 shoes are still the best basketball shoes I have every owned. Anyway, The Answer is back with Philly and it makes me happy. Here is his most recent press conference and his most famous press conference:

He's Back!


Thursday, December 3, 2009

How to Avoid Fatal Attractions by Rick Warren

Pastor, it breaks my heart to see ministries ruined by unfaithfulness. Unchecked lust in the life of a pastor is incredibly destructive to the ministry of the Church. You and I are human. We're subject to the same temptations everyone else is. But sexual sins can be fatal to a ministry. Here are six actions to remember as you battle "fatal attractions."

1. Make a commitment to keep God's standards.
You've got to be willing to do what the Bible says. Psalm 119:9 (NIV) says, "How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word." There are a lot of places you can look for values and standards to base your decisions on: self-help books, television, movies. But, pastor, if you don't want to fall victim to a fatal attraction, you must decide once and for all to make a commitment to keep God's standards revealed in his instruction manual, the Bible.It won't lead you wrong.

God says we're to enjoy sex within the context of marriage. Some people get confused on this point. They wonder why God restricts their freedom if he loves them. But as a parent, you wouldn't let your children do whatever they want. Why? We love our kids. We want to protect them. Our rules are for their good. God's rules are for our good, too. Decide today that you'll obey God's truth or none of the other steps will matter.

2. Maintain your marriage.
If you want a strong marriage, you've got to maintain it. You need to rekindle the romance. Proverbs 5:18-19 (TLB) says, "Rejoice in your wife. Let her charms and tender embrace satisfy you. Let her love alone fill you with delight."

The Bible tells us to "rejoice" in our wife, and then "be satisfied." In other words, don't compare your spouse. There's no such thing as a perfect mate. The grass is not greener on the other side of the fence; it's greener where you water it. The problem is in most married people have no spontaneity in their love life. There's boredom in the bedroom.

While you're married, you will be attracted to other people. But God says redirect that attraction toward your mate. Rejoice in your own mate.

3. Manage your mind.
You need to understand how temptation works. James 1:14-15 (TLB) says, "Temptation is the pull of our own evil thoughts and wishes. These...thoughts lead to evil actions." The battle starts in the mind. If Satan gets your attention, then he gets your feelings. If he gets your feelings, then he gets your actions. Some say, "I'd never do this. I'm just dreaming about it." Who are you kidding?

Thoughts determine feelings, and feelings determine actions. The key to avoiding sexual temptations is to control your thoughts. Jesus said in Matthew 5:28, "Anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Adultery starts in the head before it gets to the bed.

Lust isn't physical attraction. It isn't being aroused. That's just being human. You see a nice-looking person and you're attracted. Lust is the desire to possess. In other words, "If I could, I would." It's not the initial feelings and reactions. That's just part of humanity. God gave those instincts to you, but you must manage them.

4. Monitor your media intake.
We are in a sex-saturated society. We are bombarded by visual and verbal stimulation every moment of the day. In advertising, sex sells everything from bingo to batteries to bananas. Lust is big business. Most "love" songs are really lust songs. You pick up a magazine or a novel - and it's everywhere.

Studies have shown that the vast majority of sex on television is between people who aren't married. Every time you watch these escapades, your guard drops a bit. The Bible says that the eye is the gate to the soul. Matthew 6:22-23 (NIV) says, "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness." What you see is what you become.

If you're serious about dealing with sexual temptations, you're going to have to give up about 80 percent of the movies that are out there today. Some of you are saying, "I can watch that stuff. It doesn't affect me." Don't believe it. 2 Timothy 2:22 (NLT) says, "Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts."

If you're sitting in a movie and realize you've made a mistake, get up and walk out. If you put in a DVD and realize it's not something you should watch, don't watch it. I've walked out of a lot of movies, changed the channel on a lot of TV shows, and returned a number of PG videos. If you're serious about dealing with this issue, you've got to monitor your media intake.

5. Minimize the opportunities for temptation.
If you want to avoid a fatal attraction, don't allow yourself to be in situations where it happens. Matthew 6:41 (GNB) says,"Keep watch, and pray so that you will not fall into temptation." Jesus gives two preventative measures in this verse: keep watch and pray.

"Keep watch" means be alert and wise. Know the situations that tempt you so you can stay away from them. Are you aware of what trips you up? One area that trips up many people today is that couples spend much less time together than ever before. With both men and women working, and both working long hours and traveling, our quality time - or quantity time - is lower than ever. If you typically struggle when you or your spouse is out of town, then maybe you need to limit the amount of time you are away from one another.

Maybe for you it's a certain set of friends that always lead you down the wrong path. It's simple. Stay away. Friends that lead you to lust after someone who is not your spouse aren't really friends.

6. Magnify the consequences.
You need to ask yourself, "Is this worth it?" Temptation is incredibly short-sighted. There are enormous consequences to breaking God's laws. Pastor, I'm sure you've heard the hurtful cries from spouses hurt by unfaithfulness. You should understand this. When we break God's laws, they break us. It always causes pain, bitterness, and masses of problems. It's just not worth it.

James 1:12 (NIV) says, "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." I want one of those victor crowns someday. He's saying, "Deny the lesser to gain the greater."

I have only "known" one woman in my life - my wife. By the grace of God I intend to be faithful to her the rest of my life. Why? I love Jesus Christ, and I owe everything I have to him. To hurt him is unbearable. Second, I love my wife and kids. I cannot bear the thought of hurting them. But also, I fear the wrath of God. Unfaithfulness is a serious issue with God. The Bible says in Proverbs 16:6, "The man who fears the Lord shall avoid evil." That's a healthy fear. God does not let people get away with lust and unfaithfulness. Why? He loves us too much to let unfaithfulness destroy our relationship.