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gimp-u.jpgGiMP U

POC

Brace up. This isn’t for the faint of heart.

When I was in my early twenties I worked in hospital labs. I was what is known as a phlebotomist. A phlebotomy is a procedure whereby a needle is inserted into a vein and a blood sample is withdrawn. I know, its icky. It also involves all manner of other sample collection which I won’t go into right now because face it, lunch is coming and I don’t want to spoil it for you. I was doing it because it beat bagging groceries for a living and I was in college to become a medical laboratory technician. That’s the person who performs the tests on the blood. Well, on the way to certification I figured working in a lab as a phleb (pronounced ‘fleeb’) would be good for me and my career and it was. And it was like five bucks an hour over minimum wage which was 2.80 or something—do the math on that one and ‘date’ me if you like.

Besides, there are a lot of girls around a lab. I was young and single and twentyish and I had definitely landed on my feet. Don’t get that look on your face. They all mothered me to no end. Three fourths of them had kids my age so, extrapolate from there. It was cookies and lab coat mending and all of that motherly love they had to vent because their own kids were in college. It didn’t hurt that I was studying to be ‘one of them’ either. Because of that I learned a great deal about the lab and I loved it. I let them mother me and I did my job and I was pretty good at it. ( I loved the lab as a career for a long time before I became a stay at home Dad.)

In spite of all that, it all seems to have faded a bit. One particular event, though, sticks in my mind even though it has been nearly twenty years ago. I was pulling an evening shift which I was often wont to do. I’d work at any time and, being single, I didn’t care how long a shift or what time of day or night I just needed the money. (I COULD work a 60 hour week back then, I.e., I wouldn’t die if I did it.) And it was clean—most hospitals are at least that. It was air conditioned and in spite of the blood and the other unmentionable things that came through the lab, it was a good job. Pretty much any nasty thing that a hospital can produce can be tested, cultured, or otherwise examined upon a physician’s order and most things can yield up information that can help with diagnosis and treatment of whatever ails you. Like I said, it’s icky.

…to be continued

Extreme Sci-Fi Geek

I found this courtesy of Dan Phillips Biblical Christianity Blog. It was a fun SF quiz based on sounds from movies. I blew two 1950ish classics and scored:

Your Score : 85 credits
You’re an extreme sci-fi geek! You’re probably wearing your very own homemade TRON costume right now!

Take the Sci fi sounds quiz I received 85 credits on
The Sci Fi Sounds Quiz

How much of a Sci-Fi geek are you?
Take the Sci-Fi Movie Quiz

I’ve never made a TRON costume but when I found the 20th anniversary re-release I bought it AND watched it.

Mark 1:4-8 John the Baptist

Note: This Post is part of the series “Studies in Mark” see the Series Index for other posts in this series.

1The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet,
“Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
who will prepare your way,
3 the voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight,’”
4John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
5And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. 7And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
–Mark 1:1 – 8 (ESV)

We are exhorted, so far, to keep trying to get it right. To press on to the high calling. And to be faithful with what we have because God can use that.

John was such a one as that. He was faithful and true to the end though his head ended up in a ‘charger’. He was a rough customer with his leather belt and garment of camel’s hair. He ate locusts and wild honey: he was fully dependent upon the Lord for all of his needs. How many of us would preach or teach on those rations? In spite of that he was faithful to preach. At the top of that great voice of his he came as the prophets of old came preaching “Repent!” and “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.” (v.7) He preached Christ and preached that he was coming soon and I’ll tell you what, that was something that got your attention in that day. One commentary I read says that the whole of Israel was awaiting the coming of their Messiah. Whatever their reason they knew he was coming.

“I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” (v.8) We who call upon the name of Christ and call him Lord are sealed with the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:13 – 14 (ESV) 13In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. Do I know the fine points of how this is done? No. But I am comfortable knowing that the Word of God states it for a fact we are sealed with His Spirit when we are converted and he is a “guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it” meaning we who are Christians have already been separated out.

It’s time we started living that way don’t you think?

Further, this passage in Mark sort of shoots a hole in that bucket that holds that the water of Baptism is what saves you. Baptism is a mark of obedience. It’s foolhardy in the winter, uncomfortable in the Summer, and if you’re a girl, it does terrible things to your hair and makeup but it’s the Lords command. “Go thou and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” That’s what matters. But sinners we are and sinners we remain, though redeemed, until that day when Christ takes us away. No water can change that. The Spirit of God can and does though, setting us free from the bondage of sin and death and allowing us to do that which pleases the Lord. Without it, that is not possible. (Romans 5, 6,7,8—just read the whole thing.)

Other posts in this series.

COW Tipping

COW = Can ‘O Worms

Used to you could get a tin can opened up with a hand-powered opener and use it to hold your fish bait. Worms and grub of all varieties would stay securely sealed into this low-tech wonder because the lid was still attached. When you dropped your newly acquired fish-morsel into it you could bend the lid back down and it would stay in place.

Well, if your lid wasn’t on tight enough or you had wiggled it so much that the little hinge broke the one thing you didn’t want to do was tip the can. At that point, the lid would roll off and all your bait would wiggle all over the place because I’ll tell you what, they were much less interested in being skewered on a hook and fed to a fish than you were in doing it. Thats the problem with opening the can ‘o worms that is sin: no one wants to deal with it and when you open the lid and let in some light, they all take off.

Let’s tip some ‘cows’, OK?

Dearly We’re Bought

“Dearly we’re bought, highly esteemed, redeemed with Jesus blood…”

The refrain from the hymn “Dearly we’re bought” from The Gadsby Project by Red Mountain Church. I just happen to be listening to it right now, right after, in fact, I looked at this post by Brent over at colossiansthreesixteen. Go over there and read his post which asks if the pictures are really the issue. I love reading things like this. They show us a view of the world through eyes salved with God’s Word which always accomplishes His purpose. Can I get an amen for that at least?

Anyway, this inflated church membership bone is really stuck in my craw lately so I’m going to write a few things that wiser men than me—a great long list, to be sure—should have already figured out. The first is, simply, that the church must be composed of the redeemed. People in church should be saved. If they’re coming to church regularly for any other reason there’s a problem. Why else would you come to church? To salve you conscience? To help you feel like a moral person? I’m not saying that we should toss people out into the street who don’t know Christ, but there should be some discretion. The lost have no business in the counsels of the saved who have been bought with the blood of Jesus.

Thanks

I just wanted to take a moment and say thanks for all those who hit this thread and prayed for me these last three days. No there’s nothing physically wrong. My kids aren’t sick and I don’t have cancer or a splintered femur or a head injury—though I may act like it sometimes. It’s just…

It’s just sometimes things are hard—like hardened steel hard. Like bedrock hard and its tough and the only thing that gets you through is the Word and prayer and the kindness of ordinary people.

Hey, I’ve got four kids so I’m often broken on their behalf. I don’t think that’s going to get any better as they grow up either.

But there are these days—gratefully few and far between—when I’m just poured completely out and I can’t get anyone to answer the phone and the ‘skies are brass’. And that’s when I have to ask for prayer.

I hope not but you probably know what I mean.

So I’ve put all of you on my prayer list and I’ll be lifting you up too. I want us all to think about lifting each other up each morning. So when you hit a blog, pray for the writer and the commenter. It does more good than you know.