I've had a few days to stew and the flavors of the soup have blended.

I heard one commentator say that the problem is not the weapon - it's the culture.

WISDOM SPEAKS: (Proverbs 8:36)

but he who fails to find me injures himself;
all who hate me love death

On one hand, the man who killed all those people clearly failed to find wisdom. Perhaps he was incapable of finding it. Did he "hate" it? Maybe not, but he was the bringer of death.

But extend that out.

We have a president (Mr. Obama) who is saying that we must prevent this tragedy from happening again.

1) all who hate wisdom love death.
2) leftists have cultivated a culture of death.

The collective agreement to stand against ANY law that could restrict ANY abortion is evidence.

But beyond that (and not only leftists are guilty)

movies, video games, RPG's, music...all of these have become increasingly violent.

I remember "pacman" where a mento with a mouth gobbled dots.

Now, a "first person shooter" kills realistic looking enemies, with realistic looking weapons.

Do we really think this doesn't have some sort of effect?

It's not the weapon. It's the culture.

Ruminate on that.

What happened in Sandy Hook yesterday was every parent's nightmare. I have no way to explain what was in God's mind when He allowed that to happen.

We question God. the painful cries of "why? WHY???" are in God's ears. The Holy Spirit is interceding with groans because there are parents who just don't know how to pray.

It struck me during this conversation that there is a difference between
1- questioning God's plan
2- questioning God's actions
3- questioning God's authority

The difference between "why are you doing this" and "how dare you do this?"

There is a peace in resting in the understanding that God is in control. Whatever happened yesterday, or the day before, or whatever will happen tomorrow...We are in the hand of God.

Whatever happens today, we have eternity.

God is sovereign over His creation and that includes us. That includes Lanza. And it includes the people who died yesterday.

(Romans 8:18-25

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Here's the "usual" morning.

Coffee maker is prepared the night before and on a timer. Cream is in the cup and in the fridge (plastic cup so the heat won't kill it)

My downstairs neighbors work 3rd shift and get home about 5 minutes before the alarm goes off (I can tell because the dogs get active) and that means I have a little bit of time to stretch and pray before I have to hit the floor. I've set the alarm to go off 30 minutes before I have to get ready for work (coffee,internet,pain time)

The alarm goes off and I swing my feet out of bed. My foot hits the floor and it starts. The place on my butt gets sore and my leg is tingly down to the knee. Before I get to the bedroom door, I'm tingly all the way down to my feet. By the time I get to the bathroom, the back of my leg feels like somebody's hitting me with a baseball bat.

Back in the kitchen: coffee in the creamer, neurantin (600 mg), ibuprofen (800 mg) and vicodine (5 mg) - at the worst of it, I was taking 5 Ibuprofen a day and 6 vicodine. I started with 300 mg. of the neurantin, working up to 6 pills (1800 mg a day, over three doses - five weeks to get there.) I have no clue if the neurantin is working, since progress comes after an injection, not after the dose increases. I'm experiencing some side effects, so I'm starting to ramp back down.

Back to the bedroom. By this time, my foot feels like it's in an industrial vise. I have a high bed, so I stand with my right (sore) leg up on the mattress (I call it the "flamingo stretch",) drinking my coffee and reading my iPad, giving the meds time to work before I get ready for work. Getting out of the shower, I sit on the edge of the tub to stretch and dress before I get my makeup on.

Last Monday, I had that cortisone shot into my piriformis muscle. They said 3-7 days before I really saw a difference. I've seen a little progress, but little enough so that I've made arrangements to get oral prednisone if I don't see wonderful progress before I have to drive up to Marquette to get Tom.

Today. No alarm 😉

I sat up and instead of asking for strength for the day, I thanked God for my healing or cure. I thanked Him for relief from the pain. And if He chose not to give me that relief, I thanked Him for whatever He might have me learn from this process.

My foot hit the floor. That "spot" was tight, but no pain.

Bedroom door...a little tingle...still no pain.

Bathroom door...still no pain, and just a little tingly.

Coffee with real milk (the cream I bought yesterday had clots in it) and...the neurantin (half dose) and nothing else.

I put on shoes around 1:00 and felt it when I pulled wrong...and ended up taking a vicodine at 2:00, no ibuprofen (I'm scheduled for another epidural injection on Tuesday, so no NSAIDS.)

that's it.

Whether it's the injections, the exercises, the diet, the pills...or the grace of God.

Something's working

Here's the way it went: I crashed my bicycle in June. It hurt, there was a huge bruise and a little ache.

My handlebar swung around and dug into my left (outer) thigh (thus the huge bruise) and I landed on my right hip.

I was stiff and sore, but was able to move. A LOT. I spent a lot of time hiking over the summer, but getting out of bed (I was sleeping on a blow-up mattress for most of the summer) got harder.

Trips were causing the pain in my hip to get worse and I was feeling sciatic pain by the end of August. Sitting for long periods (trips) made the "issue" much worse with each trip. Taking my son to college was the beginning of the "bad ones" and a 7 hour trip took nearly 10 so I could get out and walk.

Right after that, though, I took a couple 6 hour rides from San Jose to Mount Shasta (and around) and I was stiff, but not in pain.

Then school started. A few things, all at once. Sitting more and moving less. Reintroduce bad eating habits. I went back to the chiropractor and I believe he made things worse.

Another trip to CA; another trip to Marquette. Each made my "back" worse.

Sciatic = back, right?

Maybe not.

Weeks of physical therapy didn't help.

Massive amounts of NSaids didn't help.

Tramadol didn't help

I got referred from the sports doctor to the spine doctor when I was told that if I kept taking the Nsaids I could bleed out and die. I said that I'd update my will...must give me something that will work! A prescription for Vicodine and another for Neurantin...and a plan for epidural cortisone injections into S1/L5 and L4&5

At my worst, I was taking 6 vicodine a day and taking 800 mg of Ibuprofen 4 times a day. With the Neurantin. The pain was minimal (once the pills got into my system) and I was pretty functional.

I'd been doing this for 6 weeks

After the epidual injections (the procedure was great; the nurse asked if I wanted to know when she was going to poke me, I said "no" and the next thing I knew I was waking up in recovery) - anyway, after that, I had no pain in my back, but the sciatica was nearly as bad. I did drop to 3 vicodine a day and upped the Neurantin (per the doctor) and backed off the ibuprofen.

I'd been doing this for 2 months.

I was at my physical therapist and we were talking about how the pain manifested (where, when, how) We were going through a series of stretches and she said..."oh...that's the piriformis"

Think - you have a rotator cuff in in your shoulder, you have one in your hip, also. The piriformis muscle is one of the muscles in the "hip rotator cuff"

If you know how it feels to have a shoulder injury, mine is in my butt - the muscle that makes you able to swing your foot back and forth.

So, the pain in my back was now a pain in my ass (butt, hip)

I have a folded towel on the side of my bathtub so I can sit while I dry and dress.

This Monday I had a cortisone injection into my piriformis. The technique is quite interesting and I only felt a couple of small stabs of pain...but more light pressure.

Today was day 3 after the injection. I was told to expect relief in 3 to 7 days. So far, the pain is just as constant, but not as heavy. The drugs knock it back easier. (By "constant" I mean that if I don't take the drugs, the pain is there. With meds, I had a VERY pain-free today.)

The idea is not so much that the injection will be a cure; but that it will give me enough relief time to do the stretchy physical therapy needed to cure myself.

Tomorrow, I'll describe my pain.


[relatedratings=null]"If God is Good, Why Do We Hurt?"

Because I'm hurting this was not only a good book to read, it was a hard book to read. I don't like this paint and (even though the doctors believe it's an injury and not an ongoing thing) I'm ready to be done.

Let God show me quickly what He wants me to learn and just get it over with.

Then again...

Whenever we’re tempted to think God has messed up our nice world by interjecting evil and suffering into it, let’s remember that in fact we messed up God’s perfect world by interjecting evil and suffering. Then he suffered evil by our hands so that we could forever be delivered from evil and suffering and death. Rather than blaming or resenting God, we should be overwhelmed with gratitude that because of his work of grace on the cross, our suffering need not be eternal, but only temporary.

I am called to see this pain as a reminder how much He suffered for me.

And he will deliver you through your present suffering, though not always from it. In fact, the Bible assures believers, “It has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him” (Philippians 1:29). Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation” (John 16:33, ESV). Suffering—whether from persecution, accidents, or illnesses—shouldn’t surprise us. God has promised it. And when it comes, people should lose their faith in false doctrine, not in God.

But even now, as you face suffering, God will give you joyful foretastes of living in his presence. That’s his promise as well, and also his instruction: “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed” (1 Peter 4:12–13).

If I take away nothing more than that from this book, it will be well read.

I read a couple of other books on suffering, this one has had more "meat" than the others...

While Yahweh is revealing, instructing, and enabling, the people are busy forgetting, departing, and sinning. They have been redeemed from Egypt that they might serve Yahweh in the wilderness. They agreed to do everything he said when he spoke to them from the mountain, but these commitments are soon forgotten.

From: God's Glory in Salvation through Judgment: A Biblical Theology

Aren't we all like that, to some extent or another?

The people, when times were good, partied on. When times were hard, they demanded His care.

Or they cried out for His help, only to slip back into forgetfulness.

I have had times like this - but after a time, the cycle is as much vanity as is all of "life.". One learns the comfort and stability of simply resting in Him...good times and bad. That is a powerful lesson to learn.