Monday, December 19, 2005

Not the most pleasant part of being a parent

This weekend is usually one of my favorite of the year. We have our morning worship service, followed by a lunch together as a congregation, followed by our annual Christmas program. However, such was not to be the case this year. Oh, the day we pleasant enough. The Christmas program was quite good, bringing together Christmas and Easter, but I was not very comfortable. You see, on Saturday night my baby son decided that my one eye was fascinating to him, and he reached out with his sharp little nails (talons would probably be a more accurate term) and scraped my cornea. Off to the hospital I went to have my diagnosis confirmed. Sure enough, I had a bad scratch to the cornea, and it was quite big. I expected them to put on an eye patch for 24 hours, as that is what they used to to, but no longer. Now they put a whole host of eye drops in the eye that is scratched. The first one is to relax the eye, and it immediately takes away the pain, and dilates the pupil so you can't see clearly at all. The next is a pain killer, and finally an anti-biotic. The good side of this is not having to wear a patch. The bad side is I had to preach with one eye that would not focus at all. That meant reading scripture and all the rest by closing the bad eye so I could see to read. Even looking at the congregation was uncomfortable, and eventually resulted in me wishing I was just home in the dark. The meal as usual was great, and even the Christmas program was very good. However, my eye was a major pain the whole time. Even typing this I keep my one eye closed. I am very thankful that I am at least a passable typist :) The great part is that in all of this God gave what was needed to proclaim his word. In spite of the discomfort, the Lord's day was still a good day to be with his people. Now I just need to remember to keep my eyes away from little baby hands :)

Friday, December 16, 2005

Who would have thunk it?

David Palmer
David Palmer

Which 24 Character are you?
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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Christmas Light's Will Never Be The Same

The Lights of Christmas Story

OFTEN ACCUSED OF ILLEGAL GATHERINGS and creating social unrest, house church pastors in China face arrest, persecution and imprisonment. When imprisoned they are forced to do hard labor – making bricks, mining coal, putting together cigarette lighters...and even assembling Christmas lights. The same Christmas lights we use to celebrate the Savior’s birth are being used to punish Chinese pastors who have risked everything to share Jesus to the largest people group on earth – it’s a story that captures everyone’s heart who hears it. Instead of boycotting these items, house church leaders in China have asked that we use our Christmas lights as reminders to pray that they have the strength to stand firm for the Savior during their suffering, and for the Lord to protect and care for their families. The Lights Of Christmas Story PICTURE THIS! A COLD, DARK PRISON CELL IN THE NORTHERN INTERIOR OF CHINA. The cell is only 20' by 20' and occupied by 40 prisoners. One of these prisoners is a Chinese underground church pastor in his mid-40s, sentenced to a three-year prison term for preaching the Gospel of Christ. At 5:30 a.m., after being allowed four hours of sleep, a swift blow awakens him to his back from the boot of a communist prison guard. Pastor Stephen is allowed to have one of the two bowls of soup that will be his food for the day including the one small steamed roll he is given each day, he will consume perhaps 500 calories. Now all 40 prisoners are taken to a room and put in two lines facing each other and forced to kneel. In front of each prisoner is placed a box containing unassembled Christmas lights. The guard viciously barks out the command and Pastor Stephen quickly grabs the empty strings of lights and begins to assemble them. He takes the tiny individual light bulbs and threads the two small metal wires extending from the glass through the plastic holder and bends them into place. Before long, his fingers are raw and bleeding. Then he puts the bulb into the fitting on the string of lights and clamps it into place with his teeth, as prisoners are not allowed tools. His quota for the day - 5000 bulbs. Work will continue for 16 to 20 hours or all night if necessary. If the guards are unsatisfied with the speed or quality of the work, he will be beaten mercilessly. Such is a normal workday for this humble servant of God. When he is taken back to his cell, he recalls the many verses of Scripture he has memorized and thanks God for His faithfulness in spite of the hardship. Then quietly he begins to sing worship songs he has hidden away in his heart and he begins to pray for the well being of his family. Tears of thanksgiving begin to roll down his face as he ponders how blessed he is to be considered worthy to suffer for Christ. Blessed because he is a part of the underground Church of China - the largest Church in the world, numbering over 80 million believers. A Church that is vibrant and passionate and deep in the things of God. A Church that is paying a great price for this great turning to God with persecution and suffering. For more information on this click.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Me?! Hidden Talent?!!!

As I was jumping from blog to blog I ran into this one. I can't say that I think it is correct, but maybe my hidden talent is hidden from me :)
Your Hidden Talent
You have the natural talent of rocking the boat, thwarting the system. And while this may not seem big, it can be. It's people like you who serve as the catalysts to major cultural changes. You're just a bit behind the scenes, so no one really notices.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

What Bible Translation

You scored as NASB - New American Standard Bible. You are intelligent, responsible, and understanding. You strive to do your best possible in all areas of life and are generally quite successful. You do not mind being different and sometimes taking risks, but you simultaneously find no virtue in completely doing away with the past.

NASB - New American Standard Bible


NWT - New World Translation


KJV - King James Version


CEV - Contemporary English Version


NRSV - New Revised Standard Version


What version of the Bible are you?
created with

Friday, November 18, 2005

I'm Rerun, how about you.

Which Peanuts character are you? Rerun
You are Rerun!

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Thoughts after a week

We are a little past a week since Justin was born. The week has been filled with highs and lows. The highs of having Annette get stronger and come home, of Justin feeding well and growing, and of parents who are so very willing to help. But then there are the lows--lows of self doubt, wondering if I can be the father my son will need, lows of exhaustion from a fussy baby who won't go to sleep, and lows of wishing my wife was recovered from everything and knowing it may still be weeks before she is. None of this has been helped by the heat-wave we are going through right now. Day after day of hot, humid weather starts to take its toll as well. Yet, I don't think I would trade any of it, except the hot weather, for anything. As hard as it has been, it has also been good. It has been and continues to be a learning experience on how to balance work and family. My hope is that as the days go by, the learning will progress and will turn into some joy in the doing of all this.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Baby Pics

Here are a pic of Annette and our baby, and one of our baby.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Baby On Board!

We have a baby boy, Justin Matthew, born July 6, 2005; 9lbs11oz; 23 inches long! I was not going to post this tonight, because I was absolutely exhausted. As you can see from earlier posts, this all started Monday night, and with everything did not finish until Wednesday late afternoon (early evening with waiting for Annette to come out of surgery) So from getting up early Monday after a tiring Sunday and not a very good sleep, I am Annette have been awake for 60 hours or so except for an hour here and there (no more than 3-4 total) We are both exhausted and that contributed to the whole story of what happened. I went to bed after sending out and phoning the absolutely vital announcments, but then a neighbor called about an hour later and woke me up so I cannot get back to sleep. So what was our three days like? It was one of the best and worst times of my life. Labor for Annette came and went again and again. She worked so hard, and it was so special having a home birth. However, when she got stalled at 8cm dilation and twice her contractions stopped, our midwife said we really needed to get her some assistance. We went to the Clinton hospital to have an Oncytocin drip given to her to get her contracting and dilating at 7:30 or 8am Wednesday. By this point we were all tired, but the drip worked great and she started to have good contractions and dilated until all that was left was what is called an anterior lip. That is still not all the way to 10cm, but it soon thinned so it could fit over the baby's head and Annette was allowed to push. She tried as hard as she could. She pushed and pushed, but she was exhausted. I was so proud of her and tired to help her as much as I could. She worked so hard for the three days that we had been in labor. By the end, she just could not go on, and even then she pushed. I had tears running down my face as, I think, did everyone else in the delivery room, but Annette was done. The shear amount of strength she showed was amazing. I always kneww she was strong, but she did the labor of three women, and even in the face of exhaustion, she kept trying until the end. The baby came very close to being born vaginally, but we were out of time and energy. So, we opted for a c-section. God truly gave me a wife who is amazing. They got the c-section organized quickly, and got me and our midwife, Susan, gowned up so we could be there with Annette. But, once again things did not go as planned, the epidural did not work, and they opted to use a general anestetic, and we were not allowed in. Through all of this my feelings were flying all over. Pride in Annette. Sadness and disappointment that our hopes of a home birth or even a vaginal birth were gone. Anger at myself for not being the supporting husband I should be, and even though I know better, anger at God for how in his providence he had our hopes and all that work of Annette dashed. It took me a long time to get through all this, and I am sure I am not through it completely yet. The c-section went well, and soon they came with a beautiful baby boy. The problem was I was so conflicted at that moment that I can't say I enjoyed it as much as I would like. Yes, he grabbed my heart right away, but at the same time I felt so . . . so . . . I don't know. It took a while and some tears before I realize that I just need to put it all behind me. Then things became so much better, because Justin is a really great baby. God in his providence has given me someone who grabbed my heart. My prayer is he will grow up not just healthy, but as a person who truly loves and puts his trust in Christ. May God give Annette and I the grace we need to raise this beautiful boy. So as I type this through my tears--tears of sorrow, tears or joy, tears of thankfulness for a wonderful wife and child--I can say the last three days have been some of the best and worst of my life. I would never exchange the experiences of going through labor at home with family around us for support. In my opinion this is one of the most amazing times of fellowship a family can have. I would not, even though part of me wishes it had been different and we had the baby at home, exchange the long period of sharing as much as I can, Annette's labor. Seeing her strength. Holding her. Encouraging her. And all the rest. That too was amazing. And I was so thankful that we had the option of a c-section. The nurses, doctors, surgeons, and all the rest were great, even when I was far from happy at the time. Finally, that little baby is beyond words for me to describe. Now comes the recovery. Physically for Annette 4-6 days in hospital. And then emotionally and all the rest for both or us as we deal with a very stressful three days. Now I need to see if I can sleep.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Labor away!

Well, Annette has been having contractions since Monday night. We were very excited when she reached 8cm dilation, but then after a couple of hours of hard frequent contractions, she had not dilated more, and the baby's head had actually moved up from the cervix, and for about 30-40 minutes there were no contractions. Baby's heart beat was strong, but this could be bad. It could also just indicate that the baby needed to reposition before labor could continue. So Annette went into a position to assist that, and as we lay there for half an hour, I prayed. I always find it amazing how while at first I simply said God get the baby repositioned, after a few minutes of praying my prayer was, God this is in your hands, and you have given us many good things, you do what you know is right, but if it be your will reposition the baby. Happily it seems the baby repositioned well, and labor started again and is even more intense. As of this writing, things are still progressing, so hopefully my next entry will be the announcement of who our new baby is.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Labor Started!!!!

Labor started last night about 9-10pm. Annette started to have more regular contractions when we were out walking the dogs at Pinery Provincial Park, and after we got home they got more intense and more frequent. We asked the mid-wife to come to see how things were going, still not sure if Annette was starting into labor or not. When the mid-wife arrived at 9:30 or so, she found Annette was having good contractions and was 3cm dilated and the baby's head was fully engaged. Since it would take all night for her to fully dilate, (increase of 1cm/hr would be very fast, .5cm/hr would be more usual) she told us to sleep as much as we could. Needless to say Annette did not sleep much what with the hard contractions, and I didn't sleep much because, well, this is exciting and my mind keeps running over what is happening. Things are continuing, and we will phone our parents soon so they can come down. Going into labor was an answer to the prayers of many people. If she had not, we would have had to seen an Ob for a consult and could have ended up having to have the baby in hospital if they said we had to induce, which is not what we desired. But thanks be to God, everything is going naturally!

Still waiting, but something seems to be happening

The count is at 15 days overdue and counting. However, yesterday and today Annette has been having some strong contractions. Yesterday they were quite far a part (55 minutes or so) and did not always follow a regular pattern. Then they seemed to slowly disappear. Today, Annette woke up with lots of energy, and we had a good day together going to a local plant nursery that has a half price sale, and then going to the Pinery to walk the dogs and enjoy the lake. At first Annette only had very infrequent contractions, but as the day progressed they became more frequent. Now they are quite strong and much more frequent. Maybe, just maybe the baby is ready to make an appearance :D

Saturday, July 02, 2005

No baby yet.

Well, we are still waiting. Annette and I went to see our Mid-wife again today, and she did a fetal stress test to make sure that everything is ok with the baby. The test showed that the baby is doing well, moving a lot with a good heart rate that matches up well with his/her movements. She also did some other tests and told us that Annette's body is good to go, but the baby's head is not right against the cervix. When the baby's head is against the cervix, labor will probably start. Hopefully for our sanity and sleep that will happen soon. On another note, today was Canada Day. While I cannot say I am pleased with the things our current government has done, especially their redefining of marriage, I must say I am still happy to be a Canadian. It is truly a wonderful country with some great people. God has blessed me to have me born here.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

No News . . . yet!

The latest update on the baby front is that we are still waiting. Occasionally Annette will have things that seem like contractions, but so far they are far apart. Hopefully we will see some progress soon as I am finding getting a good nights sleep it getting difficult (yeah, like I will get any sleep after the baby is born :) ) As of today I am completely beat. Only slept a few hours last night. The following picture probably best summarizes how I currently feel.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

No Baby yet

The baby count up continues. We are now 10 days over-due. The waiting is starting to get to me. Although I sleep at night, I don't seem to get any rest because my mind keeps wondering when will this little baby come. The result today was that I was very groggy and grumpy. Hopefully the baby will come soon. Annette had an actual contraction yesterday, but that one was the only one. In spite of being tired I still got a fair amount of work done, but not as much as I would have liked. I am hoping that I get a good sleep tonight.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Still counting down

Today we went to meet with our mid-wife. Our baby is now 9 days overdue. The waiting is driving both of us somewhat stir crazy. Of course for Annette things are worse especially with the heat that we have been having lately. The best way I can describe it is it is like Christmas is coming, but we are not sure what day it will be. Every day we think, is this going to be it, and then it isn't, so we go through another day of waiting. Needless to say this starts to drain ones energy, so we are both getting tired. Top that off for Annette with carrying a full term baby, and you can imagine what it is like for us. As for the rest of things, everything is ready and looks good.

Baby seat

Today we made our final step in preparing for the upcoming birth of our baby. Annette's parents came down, and took us out for our anniversary. After a huge meal at the Mandarin buffet in London, we stopped as Sears, and they purchased a baby seat for us, for which we are very thankful. We installed it this evening, and it looks good. Now we just need to wait for the baby :)

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Back again

It has been a while since I last posted. What can I say, life has been busy :) Since my last posting many things have happened. We purchased a new to us van ('97 Safari), and are expecting our first child. My hope is to post more often, but then my original hope was to post frequently. Only time will tell.