Friday, June 30, 2006
Last night there was a get together of the school staff for Mr. and Mrs. Varnado. They are leaving to take the Pastorship of a Church full time. We are going to miss them and I know the kids will miss them, too. They have been a blessing to all over the past 6 years. It was also good to see Pastor Don and Eilleen and so many other teachers I don't get to talk to too much. The food was good too - my tongue just does not like 'anyting tat it too spity'. It rebels and causes me grief, but I persevered and finished the meal. Thanks to the Hands for hosting.
I going to visit my parents today following my dad's back surgery. The kids on my son's team also have a Zephyrs baseball game tonight at the Zephyrs stadium in Metairie. I have been to one baseball game in my life when I was 15. It was an Atlanta Braves vs. some other team June 18th,1978. Steve Brye (?) hit a ball and his bat broke - my cousin was the bat boy and he retrieved the two pieces which I later glued together. You cannot even tell it was broken.
They were also giving bats at the gates to all of the kids. It was a smaller version with the date, etc. I still have them both - or should I say my boy has inherited them.
Watered the garden and my fruit trees early today, so it should rain tomorrow. HaHa. The vegis a getting big.
Check out what the Psalmist said in Ps.30 -
2 "O Lord my God, I cried for help, and Thou didst heal me.
3 O Lord, Thou hast brought me up from Sheol;
Thou hast kept me alive , that I should not go down to the pit. ...
5 His favor is for a lifetime: Weeping may last for the night,
but a shout of joy comes in the morning.!!!!
I'll take that any day. That's just another example of God's Word - living and active and sharper than any two edged sword.
Have a blessed weekend and do whatever it was that you have been wanting to do! Don't put it off.
Please remember Mike Montague is prayer, his mother pased away.
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
"The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
the LORD is the strength of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
and again in 28:7,
"The LORD is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and I am helped:
therefore my heart greatly rejoices;
and with my song will I praise him."
Why does the psalmist write that his heart trusts in the Lord? Because God is trustworthy. I stand here today a living testimony to the trustworthiness of God. He is, has been and will be my strength and my shield, my light and my salvation. Therefore, I do not have to be afraid of what the future holds or does not hold for me and my family. My future is being held in his hands. Fear is natural, that is why so many times in scripture the Lord or angels said " fear not". Whenever those thoughts come across the screen of my mind, I try to remember Who it is that is truly in control of my life. God is not on vacation or dead and He is certainly not asleep.
So do what psalm 27:14 says,
"Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thy heart:
wait, I say, on the LORD."
Be encouraged today that God is in control of your destiny, however great or small. You are a part of His plan. Memorize and meditate on these three scriptures and use them like you would a medicine. It will help you. God bless you and I will see you tomorrow. GW
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
My phone line is not letting me get on line so I did this post on Microsoft Word for whenever it gets fixed. This is the second time I have had trouble with my phone line since ordering DSL. Equipment problems try my patience more than most things, ain’t it just supposed to work?
Kids – Basketball - two day team camp and I mean all day till 6 pm. Glad that is over but they had fun.
Dad is doing good according to mom. I also talked to Aunt Eva from Alabama – she calls frequently to check on me and the treatments. I wish everyone had an Aunt like her.
It rained where I am, did it rain where you are? Just like I had requested, no flooding but a good deluge for about a half hour. The lightning was incredible! The only thing now is the grass will be growing and need cutting sooner.
Everyone is liking the buzz cut, Robin thinks it should be maybe a little shorter. We will see.
Psalm 24:1-The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world , and all who live in it … Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands
and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to an idol
or swear by what is false.
He will receive blessing from the Lord
and vindication from God his Saviour.
Now that sounds like a good deal to me, how about you? Be sure to go to Church – somewhere, and if you don’t have anywhere to call home, come check out Hosanna. It’s located on Goodwood Blvd across from Womans’s Hospital at Airline Hwy. Services start at 10:15 am. Sunday school at 9:15 am.
Monday, June 26th 2006 8 pm
Well, here I am sorting out why this thing is not working yet. We have no dial tone at all now. So a technician is coming by Tuesday to troubleshoot the problem. The DSL software, filters and modem arrived today so I was excited thinking I would be back in business. Patience grass hopper, patience.
Please check your smoke/fire alarms in your home. My mother has a good friend whose house caught fire while they were sleeping early Monday morning. By the grace of God the wife woke up, smelled smoke and was able to wake her husband and they both made it out safely. They think it may have been caused by an electrical malfunction. Almost a total loss.
Movie critic corner: I went with the kids and their cousins to the movie “CARS”. It was cute with great computer animation and a good message. The main character had to come to the realization that the world does not revolve around him and that he does need other cars to have a good life. Recommended – but I did wear ear plugs since the movie people either think we are deaf or are trying to make us deaf since they possibly own stock in hearing aid companies.
Psalm 25:12, “What man is he that feareth the Lord? Him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.” And verse 4, “Show me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths.”
Teach us LORD. More later. God Bless – George.
Tuesday, June 27th, 2006
The phone / internet service is almost running as it should. We are still having trouble with dialing out on the phone, but the internet connection is very fast now. Above are some posts I typed into word until I could get back on the net. That is kind of like eating fresh bread 3 days later - it just is not as fresh - but it still kept me documenting whatever was going on. Today was busy but good. I felt pretty strong today except for a couple of hours after breakfast. I had to get a correction on my attitude from Robin. I was getting frustrated over some personal business that I did not have a clear answer to, so she called me out on it. It eventually worked out, praise God. Usually, if you give stuff like that some thought and time, it will work itself out on its own. The Word says to 'cast our cares upon the Lord'.
The bald thing takes a little getting used to. I had no idea how much heat your hair conserves or how much insulation from the sun it offers. It sure is user friendly when it comes to getting ready - just wipe and go. I guess I'll get used to it. Brandon and Pastor Terry are proud. Where's Paul Wallace when you need him? Eat your heart out Telly Savalas and Ule Brenner, there's a new bald guy in town!
I am going to cut it short and pick up tomorrow. God Bless and have a great day. George.
Friday, June 23, 2006
HAIR today, gone tomorrow..... Well, today my brother-in-law brought his clippers over and gave me a #6 on the top and #4 on the back and sides (Iceman and Turf would be proud). It took probably 30 minutes believe it or not - there are alot of stragglers you have to follow up on to try and make it look smooth. Now Robin will be happy and I can play more parts in some movie somewhere as a chemo patient turned bad, who might be a skin head white supremist or a chicano gang member wanna be. It is much more comfortable, why didn't I do this years ago?
Milk - I tried some Lactose free milk and it digests just fine. I had a bad experience with milk back in Houston before the surgery so I had avoided it altogether up until a week ago. I have noticed a slight almost headache like feeling though - I wonder if that has anything to do with the milk since I have had not one single headache before or since the surgery or since treatments started. Ain't nothing like a bowl of your favorite cereal with some cold milk!
Dad is talking and eating all the time now according to my mom - his usual self - thank God. So far all is going well down the path of recovery.
Baseball is over for the summer and soon volley and basketball will be, too.
Yesterday was the balanced day - 12 hours or light and 12 hours of dark - how do they know?Now we are slowly on the shorter end of the stick as for daylight. We got another heavy down poor yesterday which all things green - not to mention the fish - seem to appreciate.
My Psalms reading for today is my favorite- 23. 'The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want ...' You should know the rest by heart and if you do not, memorize it. It is a powerful set of verses to have in recall especially when you really need it. You can meditate on it while in a CT or MRI machine or while they are trying to find a vein in your arm. If you cannot sleep at night because something is bothering you , weighing heavily on your mind, don't count sheep - count on your Shepherd - ' he leads me, guides me, restores me ...
May God do just that, lead, guide and restore. We live in crazy times, and He is the calm in the storm. God Bless. George
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
I actually felt close to normal today except for a few hours. The tongue is still feeling pretty strange all of the time and my hair - which was not supposed to fall out - is trying it's best. The wife still is lobbying for a short/crew cut. I figure I could get a part in a movie as a chemotherapy patient for sure now.
Later this afternoon there was a nice breeze and it didn't seem too hot so I checked out the back 40 and boy have things grown in two days. I think bug control is going to become an issue based on some of the leaf damage I am seeing. Those bugs like to eat, too, but please not my plants.
We have decided to go with FastAccessDSL through BellSouth. The promotion they have going on now gives a rebate on the gateway(modem) which completely covers that cost and $50 cash which will offset the 7 or 8 $ more per month it will cost. Some people I know have cable internet which is 'blink of the eye' fast. This will not be that fast, but it will allow us to talk on the phone while also using the internet. We will see how it works out.
Psalms 20 verse 7 says' "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God." Our Nation is historically unlike any other. My hope is that we do not look to our chariots or horses (our military or political might) but that we follow the path laid down by our forefathers which was a path of faith and trust in God Almighty. God has destined America for things greater than entertainment and good times. We are to be a blessing to the world. How is it that a High School Valedictorian cannot give her speech which includes how she has become who she is because of her faith in God? Is this still America? A Church on every corner America, right? I don't know what else to say but God forgive us and help us to return to the roots of faith in You that our land maybe strong.
"but we trust in the name of the LORD our God ..."
Have good Thursday in Jesus Name. GW
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
I need to add a foot note to the post I wrote yesterday. After I was finished and had gotten off of the web, it rained so hard for about 15 minutes that I thought we were going to have pull out the boat like in Houston. The lightening show was very impressive and at the same time very scary! The rain passed but the lightening hung around a little longer. I checked out my little plants in the back and they appear to have liked the downpour.
I got my last of the 3 Neupogen shots today and boy do they knock you down. I could fall asleep anywhere at anytime during the day. The couch is pretty much my place of residence after these shots. I don’t know if it affects blood sugar levels or what but it shuts down any motivation or desire to do anything but get horizontal and snooze.
We had a good visit with my dad – just too short. We had to blow in and blow out since this A.M. I had my last shot and my oldest had ball practice. But my mom refused to let me sit with her at the Hospital in N.O. during the surgery, which I guess she is right. I was just glad to see them.
Psalm 20 says, “May the Lord answer you when you are in distress …May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.” That is my prayer for you. That is some good stuff to meditate on – God wants us to make it (I think) more than even we want to make it. Just think how much has happened in the last 9 months since the hurricane! Many people are still not back to a normal life yet – may the Lord answer them in their distress and make their plans succeed. Not to mention the War or Terror, which is a constant point of prayer in my mind. We cannot handle all of this stuff in our little brains, but we serve a God that is big enough to handle it all and more. I pray we will all be in His will doing that which He desires for us to do. Continue having a great week. Please be in prayer for my dad during his back surgery(fusion) Tomorrow morning that all will go well. God bless. George
Monday, June 19, 2006
We got some more rain. I watered my yard yesterday for the first time in probably 6 months so I knew it was going to rain. We still need a good all day rain - no flooding, though. The okra, corn, squash and eggplants are still alive and growing. Hopefully we can get something to eat off of them.
I picked up my Tarceva (chemo pills) today. Did I ever tell ya’ll how much that stuff costs? I’ll give you a hint – it takes one Benjamin Franklin per pill to get the bottle out of the door of the pharmacy. Thank God I have good insurance. I think today was day # 58 for taking those pills. I also heard that there is a Renal (Kidney) cancer drug that works which has been approved. It costs $20K per two month supply. But it works. That’s what counts. One day hopefully cancer will be no more prevalent and easier to treat.
My dad’s surgery is on the 21st, so we are going to visit before since my mom said no way to me going to the hospital for the surgery. I’ll ask for ya’ll to pray for Mike and Patsy that the surgery will go as planned and that it will correct the problem. Anyone who has had chronic back trouble can understand how it can mess up our life.
Psalms 19 says, "The heaven's declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." Sunrise or sunset - no two are the same. God is everywhere you look, if you are looking for Him. Keep looking up this week, this could be the best week you've had in months.
God be with you in all you say and do. George.
Friday, June 16, 2006
"I have set the Lord continually before me;
Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. "
I was shaken alright - after 3 tries with the IV needle - and for some reason these hurt more than usual, I was feeling somewhat traumatized. No kidding. Even though I go through this every week, I still have to get mentally prepared. It is getting old and predictable. But I know it is for my good, so I told the Dr. whatever it takes to win, let's do it. This scripture in Psalms 16 was timely and accurate for me. You know, a 'coincidence'. HaHa. God's got my number, and yours, too. During treatment I stretched out in the recliner and went to sleep. I've never done that before. The nurse came to me to make sure everything was okay since I always stay alert and talk to my fellow treatment buddies. This time I shut down for a while and napped. It was soon over and I headed home.
I also had to get a red blood cell shot today and 3 shots for white blood cell count next week, Sun, Mon. and Tues. But the good news is my platelets are in a good range according to the Dr. . He okayed some vitamins for me and another product that is touted as an immune system builder. I also stopped by Our Daily Bread store to get what I have been told is the best carrots for juicing in town. (10 lbs. worth).
Thursday was a pretty good day symptom wise. Today started out good, but as with the roller coaster, I felt like we crested at the top of that hill - you know the one that after you cross it, it makes you scream all the way down. I have never liked roller coasters. This to shall pass.
We got some rain all over the place around lunch - finally - but just no long enough.
My nephew is in for a day to visit from N.O. He is going to the games to watch the kids. I don't do the hot games - I can't handle the heat for too long. The kids understand.
My father-in-laws building is finished roof and all. That was fast! and is looks great.
I got my car back from the mechanic on the way to the treatment. A/C is fixed, timing belt, power steering and a few other minor hose changes, etc. - it is almost a new car - except for the 130,000 miles on the odometer. We should get another 100 K out of it at least.
Our cousin Barbara was admitted to OLOL for - for a lack of better wording - dehydration. She has to consume about 1/2 gallon of this salty type liquid everyday to survive. She also has difficult with absorbing the nutrition she is taking in. I think she is only going to be in the hospital a few days. Please pray for Barbara and her husband Don. Great people with a great attitude. They have been fighting this battle for about 7 years now. Real troopers who give god the Glory.
Have a wonderful weekend and God Bless. George
P.S. Father's Day is Sunday June 18th !!!
P.S.S. We are considering getting Dish Network vs. DirectTV - does anyone have any input as to which is better/worse. Any bad/good experiences with either company???? Drpo me a quick note.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Today was a busy one for us. I watered everything early this am as usual before the sun gets up from behind the trees. Cooked pancakes ( from scratch) for the kids and their cousins and Robin delivered the protein in the form of scrambled eggs. It was a hit. After that we cleaned up the kitchen and I sat with the kids for a bit. I got fatigued so I laid down a while. Then headed to the rent house to write down everthing to be done before the next tenant moves in - at this point it was time to hibernate in the A/C. This is more than I usually do, but thankfully I did not have any cramping until closer to midnight. Usually it hits around 9:30 am most days - that is why I try to do whatever needs doing early.
The slab I wrote about in an early post this week now has a building on it - can you believe how fast they can put up a metal building? The woods are now in a long pile next door - behind my house. It sure does let in a lot of light now. Construction and destruction.
My computer hard drive was taken care of by a friend - thankyou so much. The pictures are safe at this point and we are backing everything up onto CD's. If you have valuable info on your PC, learn how to back it up.
I ran into Wardel Jones and his wife at a basketball game tonight (a gym with A/C)- we have not seen each other in about 7 or 8 years! It is amazing how his kids have grown. They are all doing well.
I have been reading through a 31 days of healing book given to me by Robin's aunt. It stresses how we are to believe God for things that are, at this point, not seen. Sickness and affliction are scary stuff. You have to trust God or else you would be in such a state of depression and without hope. I do not know how some people make it through stuff like this without Jesus. Who do they turn to? Hopefully most wake up and get there relationship with God straight before it is too late.
Speaking of late, it is 12:30 am Friday, I have to get some shut eye before chemo tomorrow.
Have the best Friday you have ever had! God Bless -George
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Yesterday was pretty tough. I had some of the worst cramping I have had in two weeks. The kind that gets you in a cold sweat wondering if you are going to pass out. But it passed. You just have to face it and get though it, kind of like that spanking you knew you were going to get as a kid when you got home from school. You finally realized it was going to happen, so let's just get it over with. I was also feeling a shakey throughout the day I guess as a result of the afformentioned episodes. I did, however, determine to make a chicken and sausage Gumbo later in the day. It turned out pretty good, according to those who helped to eat it. I watered the seedlings today real early and the fig trees before Mr. Sun got up in the sky. Not too much else going on. A little on the sluggish side with the usual food doesn't want to go down to well scenario. I am going to wait till it cools down outside and I may venture a walk.
More practices and games today for Sissy. The cousins are at Nana's, so you know where Big Boy is going to be.
Don't forget Father's Day is June 18th. Now you know I'm going to put a plug in for all of those hard working Dad's out there. Do something fun/special that, of course, involves food of some kind. And while you are at it, remember your Heavenly Father and forget not His generosity, mercy, grace and kindness towards us His children. He is so good to us. Bless His Name.
Talk to ya'll later. God Bless GW
Sunday, June 11, 2006
I had to leave early to pick-up Lauren. She took the ACT test. We then ate at Arzi's Lebanese Restaurant. Bryan's games were over around 2 pm so we all met back at the casa.
The second extreme was a wedding at 6 pm. Beautiful setting with a limited number of people invited. The food was incredible, but around the time to eat and just a little after the old cramping kicked in and we had to leave soon afterwards. You just never know with this stuff. You just have to be ready. I am thankful I was able to attend both of these extremes. You can learn so much with these 'rights of passage' so to speak.
Speaking of learning, remember that rat (dog) of mine Kenny that kept me up Friday night. Well, I go to unlock my door and there he was staring back at me - he had been loose in the house the whole time we were at the wedding. Thankfully, he held his movements with the exception of one area of toilet paper destruction.
Bryan woke up with nausea/stomach discomfort. So I am staying home from church with him this time. Robin missed last week due to similar problems.
This is a scripture a friend of Bro. Billy gave to us at the wake.
Psalm 1:1-3 NIV
1 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
He commented that Billy was that man who lived according to the above scripture. That is one of the first scriptures I memorized right after I was saved. It is a good one.
Have a blessed Sunday with your family. George
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Today from 10 to noon - I stand to be corrected if there has been any changes - is Brother Billy Wilson's wake. I think the funeral follows? He was a positive influence in my life even though we didn't talk alot. He was a peaceful, wise man who along with his wife were pillars in our fellowship. We hated to see them move north years back, but all things change. His family is in our thoughts and prayers and we are rejoicing with Bro. Billy for his new home and his eternal rest from all things earthly. His heavenly reward was waiting for him. Our Heavenly Father is wonderful and He does all things well.
I have to go an get ready for the funeral. Check out this quote and tell me if you know what movie it is from ....
Triumph is born out of struggle
Faith is the Alchemist
You want to paint pictures like this, you have to use some dark colors
Friday, June 09, 2006
A friend from work (Cat) came by during the infusion and we caught up on office/work stuff. Another friend I used to work with – we miss her - (Liz) called Cat while we were talking and I was able to say hey to her. One more - while in the Dr.’s exam room another friend from work (Ken) came by to visit and drop off a book – he hit the nail on the head - a book about the origins of words. That is called etymology – not to be confused with etiology, which is the study of the origins of diseases. I find that type of stuff interesting. Also, I found out that one of the nurses who takes care of my chemo is the sister-in-law of Paul K. – a guy who used to go to church with me at Hosanna. It’s a small world after all.
All things Green: Did you know that Corn has an average of 800 kernels per ear? (1 per strand of silk). Can you imagine if you could invest cash and have that kind of return. The annual U.S. consumption of fresh sweet corn is 9 lbs. – 187 million bushels for cereal, tortillas, chips and other snack foods. 5 billion bushels are used for livestock feed. This next fact is depressing- 131 million bushels are used in the production of alcoholic beverages. We are drinking almost as much as we are eating. But you cannot get drunk off of tortillas – not yet anyway. I could eat corn on the cob or cream style corn every night.
My seeds I planted the other day are popping up in a row. Let's hope they grow.
God is into growth. He designed everything for growth. And for everything there is a season. I am in a season at this time which can be good or bad - growth or no growth - it is almost always our choice, our decision. We have to decide everday who we are going to serve. I constantly quote the scripture, "This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it".
I heard some great news today. One of the people I have requested prayer for, Dr. Mike Hackler, says his tumor has shrunk by 90%! This is almost unbelievable considering what the news was when he was first diagnosed. We rejoice with him. Also, continue to pray for Jill H., Christi W., and Austin Barber (needs heart/lung transplant).
I've talked enough. Have a great weekend. God Bless. George.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Let’s start with the weather – that’s always a good ice breaker. It’s hot! This morning seems to be cooler than normal, but it is overcast so that helps. Remember to always wear sunscreen, skin cancer is #1 ranked, so be wise please.
All things green – the tomatoes Robin and Bryan planted started out okay, but they are struggling at this point. We have picked 3 so far, but I don’t know how much longer the plants can hang on. The citrus fruit trees are, for the most part, looking good. They all have fruit except for one tree. The fig trees are all doing well. They are the easiest fruit tree to grow in my mind. My father-in-law had someone come and do some dirt work for him. While here, he spread the piles which were along the back of the property. This was the left over top soil and sod from when we had leveled our back yard last year. Since the soil was loose, I spread some corn and okra seed just to see what will happen.
Factoid: Did you know that okra is native to northeast Africa? Okra’s English name is derived from ‘nkruma’, the Ashanti word for the vegetable. The first seeds were brought over to the Americas in the 1660’s by slaves. The classic okra recipe, gumbo, gets its name from the Bantu word ngombo. In Africa, okra grows to 12 feet tall, with a trunk 4 inches thick. It grows year round. I grew up eating okra out of my parent’s garden in N.O. all during my childhood. We had it fried, stewed, etc. Now I’ve got myself wanting to make another gumbo!
The practices and games are almost everyday now. The kids cannot say they are bored, that is for sure. I don’t make every game, only the ones that are cool. Me and the heat do not get along too well at this point and time.
Medical stuff: I had to get some more of the shots following last weeks chemo - one for the red blood cell count and three for the white cell count. Thankfully, my platelets are holding up so far. The cramping and associated symptoms are daily. I really do not look forward to waking up knowing the routine, but you just have to make it through it, because I have yet to find a way to get around it. God is faithfully with me through all of this as is my family. Casting Crowns has a new CD with the song ‘Praise You in this storm’ that is awesome. It speaks to many situations, including mine. If you get a chance, listen to it, it will bless you. I have to go and run an errand with my honey before it gets too hot outside. I will post some more. I promise. George.