Archive for March 2015

It Is Well with My Soul

March 22, 2015

Every week on Wednesday, Paula, Mary (sometimes) and I attend a senior Bible study group at Ocean View Baptist Church. The group is lead by our senior pastor Jacques. Pastor Jacques usually struggles to get through his lesson plan because we managed to go down many ratholes in search of understanding.

Usually, the group starts with prayers. This is also a time for folks to share those who might be in the hospital and/or sick. After the prayers, we sing a hymn. I get to choose the hymn. I usually like to choose old standards. I don’t care for the new-agey hymns that are sung during our Sunday services. The seniors seem to be all right with that.

A little over a year ago, Jacques came to our home to visit with Mary who had just gotten home from the hospital after shoulder surgery. So, Pastor Jacques sees our piano. He asks Mary if she played the piano. So she said no, that would be Joe’s piano. So Jacques discovers that I play the piano. He asks if I would be willing to play a hymn for the Bible study group every week. I said certainly.

So I pass around a piece of paper requesting what everyone’s favorite hymns were. I then started working through the list.

I usually pick a hymn on Monday or Tuesday and email the music to Jacques. Jacques prints out about 20 copies for the group. So I play the hymn and sometimes “Happy Birthday” for whoever is celebrating a birthday.

A few weeks ago I played a hymn and right after I finished i segued into a few bars of “Alley Cat”. That always amuses everyone. I get to play what I like. Darrell (a retired pastor) humorously said that we shouldn’t be playing boogie-woogie on a Baptist piano.

So now let me get to the title of this post. I read a blog (one of many) called “The Inspired Funeral” by Amy Cunningham. She writes:

“It is Well With My Soul” is one Christian hymn that expresses faith in God and peace with loss. It’s a predictably terrific number for the funerals or memorial services of people who were ready to die.

She also posted a pointer to Youtube video of Marion Williams singing “It is Well with My Soul”. I was so moved by her performance, I decided that we just had to do it on Wednesday.

Here’s the video for your enjoyment:

Here are lyrics from the first verse:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Alleged Local News

March 16, 2015

Every once in a while, our local news stations does something that drives me crazy. (At least the stations that we generally watch, KTLA and KNBC).
 Both stations generally have helicopters with video cameras. Both stations love police chases. Both stations will drop all other coverage of events that are going on in the area and broadcast the chase. This happens all the time.
 I think this sort of thing started back in the 90’s with broadcast of the OJ Simpson chase.
 This past week such an event occurred. The choppers were hovering over the scene. The perp was out of the car and sitting on someone’s front porch with a gun. The LAPD SWAT team was engaged. Yellow tape was deployed. Black and White police cars were deployed blocking access to the streets. Must have been 20 black and whites plus all the SWAT vehicles. (Your tax dollars at work.)
 So what did the guy do? We don’t know. We never found out. KTLA broadcast the entire episode with only two breaks for commercials. If it weren’t for the fact the news was only an hour, the coverage would have lasted until the chopper ran out of gas.
 So no weather, no traffic, no sports (not that I give a whit about the Lakers). Just an hours worth of nothing. Of course the weather doesn’t change much every day. (warm and sunny). Once in a long while there might be some rain (couple of days a year.)
 Luckily it was recorded on our DVR. So I hit the FF button to do the entire broadcast in five minutes.
 – Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Update on Mary

March 12, 2015

2015-01-27 10.53.58 HDRIt is time to write and update on Mary. She has been doing pretty well lately, She goes to the YMCA in San Pedro twice a week to exercise. The YMCA has a program that they call “Beyond Rehab” that runs twice a week.

The room has the usual exercise equipment like treadmills and recumbent bicycles. The room is staffed with a nurse and a respiratory therapist (and some times student nurses).

The program is designed to help folks who are recovering from falls, strokes and other misfortunes of growing old.

Mary always likes to stop and watch the little children in the YMCA pre-school program.

So yesterday, Mary had a follow-up appointment with her neurologist. Paula usually takes her to most medical appointments. She is doing remarkably well for someone her age. They had her do some sort of cognitive function test to judge how well she is doing. They asked questions like “What day is it?” or “What city do you live in?” etc. She did pretty good in that she got 23 out of 30 questions right.

The major issue the neurologist is monitoring is “hydrocephalus” or water on the brain. Here is an interesting article about the condition. In Mary’s case it primarily affects her walking abilities. There is nothing much that can be done. A surgeon could install a shunt to reduce the pressure of the spinal fluid, but that would be extremely risky for someone of Mary’s age. So we just monitor and visit the neurologist every six months or so.

So we are going on nine months without any serious falls. We try to make sure that she ALWAYS has her cane. And we certainly don’t let her drive. (Luckily she hasn’t asked.) We haven’t ventured far from home since our trip to Visalia in October. Our concern is that accidents that happen far from home are much more difficult to handle logistically. We are still trying to figure out how to manage Paula’s and my trip to Boston in May. We can leave her for a couple of hours to go to a movie but leaving for five days is a whole other ballgame.

So that’s it for now in San Pedro.


If I Read it on the Internet, It Must Be True

March 4, 2015

snopeslogoSo listen up ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. Everything that you read on the internet is not necessarily fact. Alas, it is true.

It seems that almost every day one of my FB friends share a post from one of their BFF’s, an article of great importance that is utterly and completely false.

So how do I tell whether or not the post is fact? First clue, is it outrageous? Have I seen it on a reputable news site like the NY Times or LA Times? Journalists are expected to do due diligence when they write a story.

Was the post from a friend of a friend of a friend? In other words can I discern where it came from?

There is a really good web site for Internet rumors and myths called “Snopes.Com“. Here are some of the latest rumors that are trending on Snopes: (note: all of the rumors listed here are false, except for the last one.)

There you have it, some of the current rumors and news for today. So do me (and all of your FB BFF’s) check the post out before you send it on.