Monthly Archives: April 2006

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Read part three
Read part four
Read Part five

Five years ago today, we got the final biopsy report. The radiologist had found a malignant tumor wrapped around main arteries that came off of my husband's aorta. This was shutting off the blood flow to his liver, which was now infected and inflamed. There were many tumors throughout his abdominal cavity. The statement was made that the longer Art lived, the greater the possibility of "cancer pain".

He was put on antibiotics for the infection and we headed to our pastor's house to pray.

We still didn't know what kind of infection, what treatment options there were, of if any of them would work.

I don't remember emotions - just numb. I remember other people praying for healing, all I prayed for was peace and strength for me, comfort for my husband and faith for my kids.

In a couple of days, we would speak with the cancer specialist and go from there...


(thank you, Phil)

"The Case for Covenantal Infant Baptism", edited by Gregg Strawbridge

This is a set of essays by several men and I've read the first two so far.

Here are a few questions that should be asked with an open mind and heart.

How many hundreds of years did the Jews understand that the covenant sign was to be applied to the entire household?

Since many of the new Christians were Jews, doesn't it seem a little strange that none of the letters to new believers addresses the change?

After 2,000 years of applying the covenant sign to a household, shouldn't somebody have told the Jews to stop?

Read part one
Read part two
Read part three
read part four

We got back from my parents' house last night and things with my mom can get very frustrating. There are days that I don't think that I would mind moving a continent away from my mother and Saturday was one of them.

But also on Saturday, we let my daughter drive to the cemetary (the world is NOT ready for MissManda driving). Within a "stone's throw" all of my immediate family on my dad's side is buried. My dad, my daughter and I walked around for about an hour. Most of the people Manda had never met, but one that she does remember is her dad. In 2002 we planted a couple of arborvitae and one of them is growing faster than the other and she's concerned about that.

My grandparents' first four children all died before number 5 was born. This was in the early 1920's and they died of things like dehydration after influenza, appendicitis, a bowel obstruction. My dad was next to the youngest of nine, so he never met these siblings, but every year he takes care of their graves.

Two more aunts and an uncle, my grandparents, both sets of great-grandparents are buried nearly in a row. My dad's cousin (Ruth) cut my hair when I was a little kid. My Great-aunt Mabel loved books, that's what I remember most about her. My favorite "aunt" was actually a Great-aunt, Susie and she is there.

My closest cousin's "other grandpa" is buried right there also - there is a double gravestone and 30 years later his wife is still alive, seeing her name on the stone every time she visits.

Very close, a distant relative is buried - the husband died first and there was another double grave-stone with his wife's date of death left blank and next to that is another grave where the second husband of the wife is buried. She has outlived them both.

This was a good trip for me to make - I'm looking forward to this "anniversary of endings" and this is where the ending ended.

So I remember more of that ending...

On April 22 of 2001 I had written on another forum, in another place, "my brother had been out of the church for 20 years and didn't want anything to do with it. I chatted with him on line this morning and he said things like" God is in control, you just have to trust him" and "I've been watching you, don't give up now."

At this point, he is a fairly regular church attender and his family was in church with us yesterday.

On April 23, five years ago, I had written, "12 hours later, lots of questions and none of them answered. They took several "swipes" through Art's liver and took several samples. the pathologist in the rooms said that he saw cells with "inflammation" but couldn't say that he saw any cancer cells. So they sent them to the regular lab. They say "atypical" cells, but couldn't say that they saw any thing they coud say looked like cancer. Possible tumor outside the liver, pockets of fluid inside the liver (possible infections). We should have results tomorrow afternoon. His hemoglobin was low and they gave him 2 pints of blood"

We had no clue what was in store, still clinging to the hope that was held out.

We're going to my mom and dad's house for the weekend - we saw them in October before they went to Florida for the winter so this will be a good weekend.

We'll stop at Tim Horton's on the way (we don't have those where we live, so it's sort of a treat). We're getting a bit of a late start because my daughter has her first "real date" this afternoon - she's going to see "Ice Age 2" with a very nice young man from her youth group at church.

My siblings will most likely all be around (one of them might have a "function" to attend). I will try to not talk about politics, although mostly my family agrees on all that. Also Calvinist stuff, everybody agrees on all that except for me...although the weather is fairly warm so if we're asked to "take it outside", we can. I'm taking "The Case for Covenantal Infant Baptism", and I'm in a family where everybody is in churches that just don't do that.

Anyway...until then, "compare and contrast" the difference in these two stories from about a month ago...

Read part one
Read part two
Read part three

April 18, 2001. We started a roller coaster ride that would take us down, up and then down again. Five years ago, the "gastro-intestinal" specialist told us that the CT scan (results finally) looked like there were multiple tumors "all over". Needless to say, we were quite stunned.

This was a Wednesday night and we went to prayer meeting. One of the songs that we sang was "Because He Lives"

"Because He lives
I can face tomorrow
Because He lives
All fear is gone
Because I know
He holds the future
And life is worth the living
Just because He lives"

The doctor had refused to give us any kind of assurance of any kind of treatment or timeline - his specialty was liver, not cancer. So we really didn't know what tomorrow would hold.

On the 20th (five years ago today), the cancer specialist called us and said that he had seen the scan and he was not convinced that these were tumors. There was a possibility that the spots were lesions (scar tissue) from post-surgery swelling.

We were being handed hope.

We still didn't know what tomorrorw would hold, but we did have hope.

Another biospy was scheduled for the next day (April 21) and we would know the results the next day (one of the perks of having a cancer specialist rather than a liver specialist order the biopsy).


We just covered Immanuel Kant in philosophy class and the "Kingdom of Ends" "Act in such a way that you always treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never simply as a means, but always at the same time as an end."

A very dear friend noted a couple of weeks ago that "every man in America is one false accusation away from having his life ruined." It seems that by merely making the accusation, a man can be convicted, without ever having been to trial. And it appears that the best evidence in this case is the accusation.

What is the end that this woman could gain?

- Photos have come to light. I haven't seen them, but I have read that 1) they are timed stamped, 2) time stamps can be altered, but in one of the photos there was a wrist with a watch that matches the time stamp. These photos show this woman showing up at the party already bruised and cut - already showing the signs of the alleged rape. The later photos show her under the influence of a recreational substance, smiling and looking through her purse.

- There is no claim of DNA evidence from the woman's body.

- There is a paper trail that causes difficulites for the woman's story and appears to create an alibi for at least one of the men.

- There is also information that she has been contacting lawyers and trying to find civil lawyers to possibly discuss suits in this case, or financial compensation for her.

What is the end that this woman hopes to find? and by what means? Are the men that she has accused the means, or the end?

Another person involved with all of this is Durham (N.C.) district attorney Mike Nifong. Mr. Nifong happens to be facing a May 2 primary and has been accused of pushing this case forward for political gain.

- Grand juries only hear the prosecutor's side of the story. Only the evidence that could convict, and none that could aquit is presented.

- The primary that Nifong faces is less than two weeks away - and right now he's looking like he's going "great guns" to protect the weak. Did he rush to the Grand Jury in order to make an announcement to prosecute just before the primary.

What is the end that Nifong hopes to find? and by what means? Are these men that he is prosecuting, and the woman that he prosecutes for - are the means, or the end?

I believe that when all is said and done, there will be enough "means" to go around. It doesn't sound very much like there is nobody who is innocent.

If every person in this story had treated the others as the end, and not a means, what would have happened?

If the woman had respected her own self, she may never have even shown up at the party. She might not have done a lot of things. If she had respected the men, there are also a few things she might not have done.

If Nifong had respected the woman, would he put her at risk of a false accusation? If Nifong had respected the men, would he have rushed to the Grand Jury?

If Nifong has a respect for justice, what should he be doing?


We went to a little church. Christian Reformed, inner city, very mixed. The worship (singing part) was very lively and spirited. I really like it.

Unfortunately (due to either miscommunication on my son's part or misunderstanding on mine), I thought that he had to be at work later than he did, so we had to leave early (before the sermon even started).

The church is very small (less than 100 people, including kids) - that means there will fewer study opportunities, but more ministry opportunities.

This is the first church we've visited that I want to go back to

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Read part two

Six years ago, on Easter Sunday, my father-in-law went to be with the Lord. It was very sudden and he just quietly slipped away in his sleep.

We were still very unsure of my husband's future and he "felt" like his father had died because it's not "right" that an adult child should die before his or her parent. He thought that his mother would die soon also.

It was a hard Easter Sunday morning, and yet we were all at peace - what a wonderful time to go to see Jesus.

On the "day" that celebrates Jesus resurrection, my father-in-law went home.

It's a very small church, very mixed congregation, not very far away.

It's a church that is not ashamed to have "Reformed" on the sign out in front, which is important to me. All of the elders are male, which is becoming increasingly important.

Easter seems like an odd time to visit, but when I contemplated going back to Sunshine, even for Easter Sunday, I felt like I was jerking myself (and my kids) around.

I need to be in an established church and Sunshine is not going to be it. Once I made that choice, it was time to be on the hunt. It's an 11:00 service, so I'll let you all know later what's up with that.