Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Update on Mrs. Bartsch's situation (03/31/2009 10:39 PM)

Hi everyone,

I’d like to give you some updates on Mrs. Bartsch’s situation.

Mr. Bartsch and Mrs. Bartsch have got back home from the hospital. There were some good things that had happened while they were at the hospital:

• Dr. Vincent Furrey was one of the physicians on duty in the emergency room. Dr. Furrey has helped Mrs. Bartsch in the past, 6 or 7 years ago, and he is one of the few doctors who know how to help people with the chemical sensitivities, which Mrs. Bartsch has.

• They were able to check for blockages, tumors, etc. using just X-rays. They did not even have to use barium. Also, she did not have to have a colonoscopy. (It would have been very hard for her to have a colonoscopy. Just the anesthetic used in colonoscopies might have proved fatal for her.)”

• The X-ray shows no physical blockage such as a tumor. Mr. Bartsch and Mrs. Bartsch brought home pictures of the X-rays so Daniel got to see them too.

Basically, Dr. Furrey told Mrs. Bartsch that she is constipated. WHY she is constipated is still something of a mystery. It is possible that it is due to the nerves from the brain to the colon no longer working properly. HOW to get unconstipated is also something of a challenge also. He said she can get colonics even as often as once a day if necessary to stay moving.
So there are some remaining questions but over all, today was a day of good news.


Update on Mrs. Bartsch's situation

Hi everyone,

My name is Chris. I’m a friend of Daniel, and I’d like to update you on Mrs. Bartsch (Ann)’s situation on behalf of Daniel, as Internet went down for him today so he wasn’t able to do it himself.

Mrs. Bartsch was treated by a colonic professional yesterday, who was able to successfully clean her colon. However, there seemed to be something in the sigmoid (the contracted and crooked part of the colon immediately above the rectum) area that was blocking Mrs. Bartsch’s colon from operating normally, and Mrs. Bartsch wasn’t able to go to the bathroom this morning. After discussing this to some friends on the phone, Mr. Bartsch (Ward) decided to take her to the emergency room. About half an hour ago Mr. Bartsch called in and said they were waiting for the doctor at the moment.

When Daniel gives me new update I’ll try to put it on this blog as soon as I can.

Thank you very much, everyone.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Can You Live Any Wiser?

"Therefore, be careful how you walk, not as unwise, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil." -- Ephesians 5:15-16
"No one has ever had a bigger God, a bigger Bible, or a bigger calendar than you have." -- Leonard Ravenill
The other day I told someone, "I think I could profitably spend 10 concurrent lives." God has blessed me with work that is, at least in some degree fruitful and a blessing to others. In fact, enough work to keep 10 of me busy, if that were possible! I can also see this fruitfulness in my mother and father's lives. (By the way, an update on my mother's health will be coming within the next 24 hours.)

It causes me great grief to see so many people with no purpose in life. Especially when such great purpose is available! Although often blessed with natural talents, physical strength, and even money, their lives are fraught with frustration. They want desperately to be happy and yet the more they pursue happiness, the less they have.

I know what this feels like from personal experience, not just from observing others. I didn't move from "time wasting" to "time redeeming" all at once and I still have not arrived.

My natural tendency is to ask "What's wrong with this?" This is the wrong question. Let's say I was considering playing golf. I could get into a big biblical argument and say "There is nothing in the Bible that forbids golf. Golf is a form of enjoying God's creation. It's good exercise." (Etc.)

This question has proven far more helpful to me:

"Can you do anything better?"

This question gets the focus off the activity itself and onto its fruitfulness. Life for me has become a series of trades. When a door of opportunity opens, I evaluate and seek to trade "good" activities for "better" ones.

If you feel dissatisfied with the current output of your life, but don't know of any "better" activities you could do instead, feel free to contact me. For what it's worth, we would be glad to hear more about your situation, pray with you, and seek to give you some ideas or counsel. We're still "works in progress" too, but can at least share what we've learned. Your time is too valuable to waste.
Oh, you that are spending your leisure and powers
In those pleasures so foolish and fond;
Awake from your selfishness, folly and sin,
And go to the regions beyond.
-- A. B. Simpson.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

25 years ago: my second homeschool "parent-teacher conference"

Back in December, I posted the old audio of my first parent-teacher conference. Now here, for your further blessing, 25 years to the day after it was originally recorded, is my second parent-teacher conference.

As far as I know, we never took time to record another conference.

But I hope you are blessed and encouraged again by observing God's faithfulness to our family through these many years.

If you don't see the embedded player above, click here to open it in a separate window.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Please Pray for Mom

Mom seems to have either a partial bowel blockage or a prolapsed colon. There is still some movement, but only with great effort. Her appetite is low and when pressure builds up it is at times painful. Normally these conditions can be corrected (relatively) easily through surgery. But because of Mom's pre-existing poor health, even getting the problem precisely diagnosed would be very hard on her, and getting the problem surgically corrected would probably kill her. It would be a bigger miracle for God to heal her through surgery than for God to heal her directly.

We would be grateful for the prayers of our Christian brothers and sisters that Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in her body, whether by life or by death. (Philippians 1:20).

Friday, March 20, 2009

My "Other" Blog

You may not know that in addition to my primary blog (which you're reading now), I also maintain a collection of high impact posts from other blogs called "Shared Items". If you're using Google Reader, you can see my shared items automatically by just asking me to add you to my contacts. If you're not (or you just want to keep it simple), you can view my Shared Items by clicking here. Sadly, there's no way to subscribe by email to the shared items.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Great Christian Music Internet Radio Station

The advent of Internet radio has put it within the power of many people to start their own "station", and within the power of most of the world to hear what they want. Today you can find a 24x7 internet radio station to fit just about any fancy. For music, my favorite is Home Life Ministries, run by the Morris Hull family. These days it is sadly rare to find music that strikes a proper balance between joy and reverence, between passion and discipline. I find that HLM's music radio does well. To listen, click here.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Book Review: Don't Waste Your Life

Our church just recently finished a small group study on John Piper's book, Don't Waste Your Life. The book has been a help to me and I highly recommend it.

In contrast to Rick Warren's "Purpose Driven Life", which was published about the same time, "Don't Waste Your Life" is not as broad in the topics it covers, but it goes deeper in the areas it does discuss. It also has a more accurate presentation of how a person becomes a Christian.

John Piper seems to know how to communicate in a way that is clear, substantive, and satisfying. For me, Don't Waste Your Life addressed some troubling questions that had lurked in the back of my mind for years, questions I had never seen anyone else address so solidly, with a beautiful blend of theology and practicality:
  • How can we combine our instinctive desire to be happy with our duty to honor God? (Chapter 2)
  • How do we, practically, guard against the danger of falling in love with the gifts of God instead of God Himself? (Chapter 3)
  • When is it right to risk physical danger for the sake of the gospel? (Chapter 4)
  • How do we reconcile God's promises to provide for our physical needs with the fact that sometimes Christians do sometime starve to death or otherwise murdered? (Chapter 5)
  • What does a desire to honor Jesus look like in shoe leather -- the way we use our money and time? (Chapter 7) (Includes one of the best warnings about TV I've read.)
  • What is God's purpose for our "secular" vocations? Why does God want Christians to have jobs? (Chapter 8)
  • How does a Christian know if he's called to frontier missions? (Chapter 9)
I wish he had included a chapter on what exalting Christ looks like in the way we relate to our family members, but on the issues Piper does address, he hits home runs.

You can download the complete book (and accompanying, helpful Study Guide) for free from this page.

If you are really bored, or have difficulty reading, a Korean friend and I have been reading the book aloud and discussing it. You can listen to our (very informal) conversations using the following link.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Assist an Ailing Atheist

My friend Tony recently informed me about a Dallas woman suffering both physically and financially.

"Lola Robot", as she's known on Skype, has had a degenerating spine condition for years, but now it's to the point she has to take pain meds just to manage. A certain type of artificial disc replacement may help, but her Blue Cross Blue Shield considers it experimental and won't pay for it. However, the pain is so great she's decided to get the surgery anyways. Ironically, it's cheaper to have the surgery done in Germany than the US, but it will still take virtually every penny she has. She will fly to "Deutschland" in a few days for surgery on March 20. (And she is really scared of air travel.)

As Tony and I talked about it, we realized this could be a good opportunity to show Jesus in a practical way, through both prayer and giving.

I ask the Christians reading this to pray for Lola during the next few weeks. Lola is an atheist and doesn't believe in prayer. Which of course poses no problem to us, since we believe God can answer prayer regardless of the faith of the recipient.

I also ask all my readers to consider sending a gift to help defray her medical expenses. She does have PayPal so it's quite easy.

If you're like me, you're naturally skeptical when you get asked for money like this. I want to clarify that Lola never asked Tony or me for money. (And definitely not for prayers!) Sending this appeal to you was not Lola's idea but mine (hopefully from Jesus, really).

If you have questions, feel free to contact me, or Tony (tonynotbaloney[at]yahoo.co.uk), or Lola herself (josborn1[at]airmail.net).

"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy."-- Matthew 5:7
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." -- Romans 5:8