Sunday, January 27, 2013

Quote for the Week

The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money.

- Alexis de Tocqueville

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I'll Have Six Red, Please

This was our first child. A girl. We were full of hope and excitement as we made our way into the maternity wing. We were led into the large room which would be ours for the next several days. This was to be the delivery room, the recovery room, the visiting room, the hope-to-get-some-sleep room, and eventually, the why-are-we-still-here room.  That was the plan.

Near the middle, there was a bed for my wife.  On one side, there was a chair which would pull out into a narrow cot to sleep in.  On the other side was a another chair, this one a bit larger.  There was a bathroom, a handwashing sink, and a baby bassinet with all kinds of medical equipment and displays on it.

Though time dragged at first, the baby finally came out, and then things sped to a blur. The baby came out quietly. I glanced at the doctor and nurses gathered around, and no one seemed worried. They siphoned out the baby’s airway and she strongly announced her arrival and displeasure. One of the nurses called me over to the bassinet so I could be with the baby. I walked over and marveled at this tiny, fragile creature.

Unknown to us, a couple we had met in church a few weeks before was in the room next door, also giving birth. The doctor congratulated us and started taking off her gloves as she bolted next door. Since this was our first baby, I was a novice. I did not know what "normal" was.  There were things I saw, but was not concerned with, at first.

Things like the enormous bag of blood at the end of the bed.

The blood on the floor.

The blood on the observation lamp.

The blood on the nurses.

One of the nurses picked up a cell phone and I overheard her call for the doctor. Evidently, the doctor was tied up and could not come this second.  The nurse insisted, “Doctor, I need you to come right away.” Another pause. “Well, come as soon as you can.”  Now, they had my attention.

Just minutes later, the doctor came in. After working on my wife for no more than a minute or so, she looked at me and smiled. “I’m going to take your wife to another room, where the light is better, so we can finish up, ok?” I did not have a chance to answer. Three or four nurses quickly came in gathered up all the hoses, sensors, and medical equipment, and wheeled my wife out.

Another nurse smiled at me and said, “We have to clean up the room a bit so we are moving you. Please gather your things and come with me.”  She was out the door before I moved.  I grabbed what I could and followed.  I would have to come back for the rest.  My mind was a whirlwind, and truly, I was too overwhelmed to know what was going on. A friend dropped off my mom, who had flown in that same afternoon. Mom stayed in the room and I went to the nursery.

Things finally slowed down and I looked at my watch. My heart dropped, and for the first time, I was scared. It had been several hours since they had taken my wife away and no one had come to give me an update. 

I asked a nurse for an update. He did not know but would find out. That wasn't good enough for me.  I found someone hunched over a computer, grabbing a bite to eat and typing something in.  I apologized and interrupted, asking for information on my wife.  The person absentmindedly, yet politely, answered over her shoulder.  "Let me finish entering this in and I'll check with the nurses.  Then, the person turned around.  It was the doctor.

"Oh my gosh!  I'm so sorry.  Your wife is ok.  They will be bringing her down shortly."

"What happened."

She sighed, breathed back in, and said,"  Well, your wife had a serious cervix rupture that was difficult to repair.  It took us a while, but she will be fine.  She's going to be weak for a while.  She lost almost half her volume of blood and needed a transfusion.  In all, we've given her 6 pints of blood.  Rest and recovery will be very important because it will take her a month or so before she feels normal again.  We'll keep her here a little longer for observation"

6 pints. 

I remember the number because, when the doctor told me, I wondered how much blood I had donated up to that point.  It's as if I thought there was some cosmic blood bank teller who would check my balance before approving the transfusion.

Of course, there is no teller.  No one's keeping score.  Even so, since then, I have tried to give blood regularly.  If nothing else, simply because someone else did it for my wife.  Somewhere out there, 13 years ago, people gave the blood my wife needed.  I can't thank them, really.  I don't know who they are.  But I can be that person to someone else.  So I will be.  I don't need to be thanked, either.  I'm simply paying back a debt.

A debt that I owe from a long time ago.

And a debt I hope not to incur in the future.

I strongly encourage you do to the same.

H/T Brigid.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Quote for the Week

A right is not what someone gives you; it's what no one can take from you.

- Ramsey Clark

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Quote for the Week

It is from weakness that people reach for dictators and concentrated government power. Only the strong can be free. And only the productive can be strong.

-Wendell Willkie

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Next Year....

My son, in tears, perhaps reflecting on the Dolphins' season...

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Quote for the Week

As the Founding Fathers knew well, a government that does not trust its honest, law-abiding, taxpaying citizens with the means of self-defense is not itself worthy of trust. Laws disarming honest citizens proclaim that the government is the master, not the servant, of the people.

- Jeff Snyder

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Christian's Response to Mass Shootings

The past few months, and even over the past several years, we have had to confront ugly, painful incidents of gun violence.  As is to be expected, this type of tragedy brings out deep emotions in everyone.  The recent tragedy at Newtown is an incredibly heartbreaking one.  I’m left with more questions than answers, even though I’m not directly involved in the incident.

Since many of my friends know my stance on the Second Amendment, many have asked for my opinion, as both a firearms enthusiast, and a Christian.  They want to know, “How do you, as a Christian, address this?”

Well, I recognize that not all readers of this blog are Christians.  In that case, this post may not be of much use to you.  However, for those who are, also understand that I don’t claim to speak for all Christians, nor do I claim to speak for all Christian gun owners, but, here’s what has been going through my mind.

  1. Life is a very fragile gift.  A good morning kiss on the way out could very well be a good-bye kiss.  It happened for thousands on September 11, 2001, it happens to thousands every day.  Make your peace and make every moment count.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit” yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.  James 4:13-14

  1. Crime and tragedy fall on the just and the unjust.  We cannot assume that just because we live a good, honest life, we will be protected from harm.  We are not of this world.  We are not promised a comfortable life here, and I fear that our familiarity with this world leads us to believe we are entitled to that safety and comfort. This will not be the last tragedy.  This will not be the last mass shooting, this will not be the last time we are forced to confront the evil side of this world.
There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
Luke 13:1-5

  1. We cannot assume that we will arrive at the end of the day in peace, though we may have started the day that way.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?  Jeremiah 17:9

And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.  Mark 10:18

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

  1. We cannot rely on the government for our safety.  To do so ignores the fact that there is evil in this world.  As we know, there are laws against drunk driving, yet drunks still kill.  There are laws against illegal drugs, yet people still make and buy them.  There are laws against rape, murder, kidnapping, arson, etc…,yet those crimes are still committed.  To believe that the answer lies in yet another law or stricter controls ignores the fact that each person is responsible for their own soul.  No law will ever make man righteous.  That was the whole idea behind Jesus’s death on the cross.  If man, through his laws, schemes, and intelligence, could have made himself righteous, the cross would not have been necessary.  Instead, the cross became necessary because … all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:23).  The idea that Congress, can, by words, do what Jesus says only His blood can do, cheapens the sacrifice on the cross and makes us believe that we can legislate peace, good, and righteousness. 
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.  Psalm 20:7

And note, this verse does not mean that horses and chariots were evil or needed to be banned.  Those things were necessary.   The evil did not arise from owning these things, but rather in placing all their trust in those things.

  1. Let’s not lose focus on what is the actual battle.  The devil would rather we spin our wheels asking for stricter gun controls, or placing greater reliance on the government to protect us. That way, we can ignore our fallen nature and escape the realization that salvation only comes from God, through His Son Jesus Christ.  It is, after all, easier to place the burden on someone else (“they" should pass stricter gun laws), than deal with ourselves (Is my life pleasing God right now, and is my soul ready?).  If we are relying on other to bring the peace, we need not obey the true source.
From that day on, half of my servants worked on construction, and half held the spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail. And the leaders stood behind the whole house of Judah, who were building on the wall. Those who carried burdens were loaded in such a way that each labored on the work with one hand and held his weapon with the other. And each of the builders had his sword strapped at his side while he built. The man who sounded the trumpet was beside me. And I said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, “The work is great and widely spread, and we are separated on the wall, far from one another. In the place where you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.” Nehemiah 4:15-20

More reliance on government is not the answer.  Just because "someone" must "do something" does not mean that the "something" they do is the best thing to be done. Rather than agree to give the government more power, let's pray for our neighbors, our teachers, our leaders, and our children, that they may know the true transformation that comes from Jesus Christ.  Then, and only then, "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”  Revelation 21:4.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Assault Rifle v. Sporting Rifle

Please note that these sporting rifles are used in competitions, hunting, as well as home defense scenarios.