Archive for January, 2008


Hi everyone,

I don’t want to be overly dramatic and this is a personal post but I believe in the power of prayer and I love my daughter. Please pray for our 9 year old – Skye. In 2001 she was diagnosed with level 2 and 3 kidney reflux in her left and right kidneys. In 2003 she had a kidney deflux procedure. In 2005 she started complaining of pain in her left side about every 4-6 weeks and none of her doctors have ever been able to figure that out. She also inexplicably gained 20 lbs over a very short period of time. Beth and I decided to take Skye to see Dr. Gabe Mirkin, whose books and radio show we’ve benefited from over the years. He suggested that the next time Skye complained of pain that we take her in for an emergency sonogram and he wrote us a prescription for that. Today that happened and so we took her to the emergency room about 7 hours ago.

We’ve learned through other tests that she has a kidney stone in her left kidney and that it has stopped functioning. The ER doctor at our local hospital (an outstanding Johns Hopkins institution) is contacting the surgeon who operated on Skye to ask what he should do next.

Please pray and thank you.

20080127 – 8:02 PM ET Update: Dr. Matthews, who operated on Skye, wants to see her right now and so an ambulance is taking Skye to Johns Hopkins main facility in Baltimore so that he can evaluate her.

8:27 PM – dropping Micha and Li-Li at Beth’s sister’s hotel room who happens to be visiting and I’m off to Hopkins. Not sure how much I’ll be able to update but I’m taking my laptop in case I can score some wireless.

20080128 – 9:36 AM – Thank you for all the many phone calls, emails and comments. They’re a great comfort and we believe God is moving in response to your prayers. I have never been so grateful for the Internet.

Last night one of our surgeon’s team evaluated Skye at Hopkins and does not believe her left kidney has necessarily or permanently ceased to function. Her creatinine levels are good (a major measure of kidney function that I also have to track for myself as a diabetic), but in a nine year old they would be even with one kidney. And both of her kidneys were damaged permanently 6 years ago so we are asking God to give us this second kidney as it’s more critical in her case. But I do keep reminding herself that today with one working kidney, her life is not in immediate danger.

Last night our dr said that we have to treat the acute problem (the kidney stone) and the chronic problem (her 2 year episodic pain and her moderate hydronephrosis). For the former, the plan is to give her drugs today designed to help her pass it naturally and then if that doesn’t work, they’ll execute a more invasive procedure. Then they will evaluate her chronic problem which itself might have precipitated the stone.

I believe it was a blessing that this happened yesterday when labs were closed and we had no choice but to go to the ER for the test the doctor had ordered. If Skye had complained today on a Monday, we would have taken her to a lab per our last instruction from Mirkin and just have gotten a sonogram, which would have been normal today as it was yesterday. And today – again per her pattern – after 24 hours Skye is much more comfortable so we would be no closer to understanding what’s going on with our little one. It was only because we were at the ER when the Howard County doctor on call suspected a kidney stone that he ordered a CAT scan and we learned of the stone and of a concern with her left kidney. That got the ball rolling.

Beth’s sister is now leaving town and we have no one to watch the girls so we will probably be tag teaming until Skye comes home. We got Skye into her hospital room last night ab 1:30 AM today I left the hospital this AM to pick up the girls in Linthicum, dropped them off at their schools in Elkridge, and now am home in Ellicott City to do some laundry, shower, gets some stuff Beth and Skye need and then back to the hospital in Baltimore. Then I’ll stay there tonight while Beth leaves to pick up the girls, help them with homework tonight, get them to school in the AM and then she’ll return to the hospital where we will flip roles again. So pls pray for everyone’s endurance, sleep, and – most of all – for Skye’s kidney?

Thank you all so much. Your support has been wonderfully encouraging. It’s so good to know that prayers are going up for Skye.

20080128 4:37 PM UPDATE

Dr. Matthews – who operated on Skye for her reflux in 2003 – just visited Skye and I have two items of good news: 1) he thought that it is entirely premature to conclude that Skye has lost functioning in her left kidney. The complicating factor of the kidney stone clouds the picture too much to make such a conclusion. We simply don’t know yet. 2) We’re going home!!

The kidney stone must be eradicated, but Dr. Matthews is hesitant to operate on Skye when she’s not in distress. In addition, he wants to give her a week or two to pass the stone on her own. If Skye doesn’t pass the stone and she goes into a period of significant pain, then Dr. Matthews wants for us to immediately bring her back here to Hopkins and he will remove the stone. Or, if one or two weeks passes and nothing has happened, he wants us to get another CT scan. If the stone is still there (i.e. she hasn’t passed it without knowing it, which is possible) then he will surgically remove the stone.

This addresses the acute issue of the stone.

For the chronic problems Skye’s been experiencing, 1 to 2 months after the stone is gone (however that occurs), Dr. Matthews will do a study to evaluate the functioning of both of her kidneys and then if there’s an issue, we’ll plan the next step.

Thank you all so much for praying and for the surprise visits to the hospital, the calls, comments, emails, and many offers for practical assistance. Your kindness has been overwhelming. I will keep everyone updated on major developments.

20080131 – 2:57 PM

We are now scheduled to go get a second opinion on Friday 8 February and Skye’s surgery is scheduled for 9 AM on Tuesday 12 February.

Please continue to pray and thank you all so much!


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I Found My iPod!


Ok, first of all, as recent events have indicated, there are far more important matters than the loss of my iPod. But nevertheless I was happy today when I found it. Where I found it was pretty amazing.

Tues night I removed my Nano from its recharger, went outside, and moved my now empty trash cans from the front to the back of our house. I then went to our Honda and at that point discovered that the Nano was gone. I retrieved my flashlight and retracked my steps 2x. Wed AM I did the same thing in the daylight. Looked in the car. Looked in the house. Nothing.

So I then drove to work after dropping Michaela off at school.

Around midday I went out to my car for lunch and found the ipod sitting at the base of my windshield as seen above. I had driven the car maybe 20 miles with it there.

Apparently Tues night some dear soul saw it in front of my house and deposited it there for me to find, not realizing I wouldn’t find it until after my morning commute!

So my minor trauma is over. But I have wondered if my Nano is the equivalent of Jonah’s vine.

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I Lost my iPod…


…but maybe it’s a good thing. My oldest Michaela (11) told me this morning that my priorities in life in order are

  1. my car (I bought a new car about a year ago and I won’t let my three girls eat in it)
  2. my iPod
  3. my family

She didn’t list God which was concerning.

My #1 iPod use is listening to unabridged books on CD I get from the library (mostly historical biographies) and import into iTunes (and then delete when I’m done) and listening to The Bible Experience. I also enjoy finding lectures and sermons to download and listen to. I probably listen to it at least an hour a day.

The frustrating thing is that I know within about a 10 minute period when it was lost and I was probably outside when it happened. But after much searching through my yard and house I cannot find it.

If it weren’t fairly new or a better Nano were available, I wouldn’t feel as bad about buying a new one. But Circuit City has the 8 GB Nano for $187 and I need to price them at Costco too so if Beth and I don’t find it today I’ll probably get a new one. It just enables me to accomplish so much more reading in my life.

I do think I need to take more of my iPod listening time and pray so I did this AM.

I post about all this because it’s interesting to me how much this one piece of technology has interfaced into my daily life.

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“The ministry apparently has been “flat” for some time. For example, in 1994 Dobson’s monthly newsletter had a circulation of 2.4 million copies. Today, that circulation is about 1.1 million. Also, in the 1990s, Dobson was drawing audiences of 15,000 or more to his speeches; but in the lead-up to the 2006 mid-term election, only about 1,000 people heard his anti-abortion speech at the 2,500-seat Mt. Rushmore National Monument amphitheatre. Daly explains that the event was a last-minute invitation and that Dobson rarely accepts speaking engagements.According to news accounts and audited financial reports posted online for potential donors, the organization’s staffing is down (30 layoffs last September). Total donations and number of donors are down as well. Focus orders and resells copies of Dobson’s tapes and books, which are the evangelist’s personal business; but those purchases have declined from $678,000 in 2004 to $269,000 in 2006. His last book was published in 2001; another is not anticipated until 2009. The whole Dobson family, including wife Shirley, daughter Danae and son Ryan, produce books and tapes, but revenue from all Dobson-family materials are down, from $781,000 in 2004 to $307,000 in 2006.”


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DJ Chuang helpfully links to a number of different ec taxonomies.

My own thoughts:

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Andrew reminisces and discusses the zine’s history.

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Ten Years of Next-Wave

2008 marks ten years of Next-Wave which they celebrated in the recently published Tenth Anniversary issue of Next-Wave. . Congratulations to Charlie Wear and Bob Hyatt and all the past editors of Next-Wave! Thanks also to Rogier Bos for his initiative in partnering with Charlie to start Next-Wave. It has been an important forum for the emerging church conversation. I also am personally very grateful to Charlie and the Next-Wave editors for all the encouragement and support they’ve given to my writing over the years.

Charlie Wear asked to print my earlier post on as an article in the most recent issue on An Addiction to the Theological Nouveau.

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