Category Archives: Spiritual

Verbage about God, my beliefs, current religous events, miscelaneous Spiritual topics.

Is God’s Harvest on the Horizon?

This old world seems to be about ready to fly off its axis. Almost everyone is into things just for the money. Altruism is at risk of extinction. It seems like what Jesus said in Matthew about the end times, as well as other parts of end time prophecy are being fulfilled right in front of us.

The neighborhood church is dead. It has been killed by the Mega Churches, where people can go, be anonymous, and not worry about the church seeing how they really live, and have their sinning interfered with. Why even bother going to church if you are not going to even try to live it. It is our nature to sin, so do not get me wrong that I expect folks to be perfect. One of the most tragic things lost with the neighborhood church is evangelism by people who knew you, as well as having something there to help people when they fell on hard times. Not just financial assistance, but spiritual assistance. We seem to be forgetting our founders, going all the way back to Plymouth Rock, where men, and women of faith came here to escape religious persecution, and make a better society.  Our nation was born with Christian values. Have we made mistakes along the way? Yes, we are after all only human; however, our collective sense of morality is in jeopardy, and our society is seeing under currents of religious persecution of Christians. In some cases we have seen overt persecution of Christian’s rights in the public arena.

Now a days everyone is in it all for themselves. Like animals, the world seems to be going the way of the jungle. We have thrown God, prayers to Him, and His word out of our classrooms, and public institutions. The Christians, those who act on, and truly believe the Bible are being pushed farther into the corners of society, all the while Satan has taken center stage in the public square. These are indeed very difficult times to be a Christian. Society has turned against God, in the name of political correctness, and not wanting to offend anyone. Our society no longer calls sin what it actually is, we have explanations, ad nauseam.

I worry when things play out to the end course of which our society is locked onto, will it be too late for the souls of the lost to be redeemed? Will God have already had enough, as He did in the days of Noah, and save His children, those asleep in Christ, and those who are still living, and saved. How many will indeed be left behind? It appears the masses are following satan right off the edge of a cliff, into eternal damnation.

I pray God helps this society see the course we are on is a course of destruction. Mankind has become prideful, and arrogant, thinking there is no need for God. We are in a tower of Babel, and the times of Noah situation. Had the neighborhood church not been killed, we may have been able to get more souls ready for the harvest, the inevitable harvest of God.

If you do not know God, please read John 3:16. This one verse can save a soul from eternal damnation.

mark

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Must Call Doc 2Morrow, & Hopefully See Doc Soon

I have got to call the docs tomorrow, for real. I cannot put it off. I think I busted one of my abdominal surgeries loose moving into my upstairs apartment. Please say a prayer, or three for me. This is painful.

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Filed under Blogging, Crohns Disease, Health, Spiritual

New Things Coming To This Space – SOON!!!

I am seriously considering adding a second page, to my blog. It will be titled, “Page 2”. I know, why add a page when I do not write regularly, on page one? My writing, or lack thereof, has much to do with my style, and technique. If I am not inspired to write, have not a good topic, and force something onto the page, it sucks! I am the type needing a bit of inspiration to bang out a decent story, on my laptop. I know, the rule is write, write, and write some more, even if you have to force it. I do not like rules.

Regarding page two, I plan to utilize guest writers, covering a wide range of topics. My wife will be writing the first entry. Anyone wanting to submit a page two article, please send me a message. I will be writing on there too. I need to better define page 1, and perhaps will filter the remainder over to page two, and…..

A page 3 is in the works too. I plan to use it for off beat stuff,  weird news, some of me photography (I got a NEW camera), and to put a joke, or three, along with some funny stories, written by yours truly.

Stay tuned. The best is yet to come!

mark

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Filed under Art, Blogging, Creative Writing, Humor, Personal, Poetry, Spiritual

Quality Medical Care Delivered At St. Vincent’s Medical Center – Jacksonville, Florida

St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Jacksonville, Florida

With some of the negative feedback/reviews of hospitals, and doctors I have posted, I find it only fair, to report, when  positive events happen, at these facilities.

Recently I was urgently admitted to Saint Vincents Hospital, Jacksonville, Florida. From the moment I arrived at the facility, to the day I was discharged I was treated in a very compassionate manner, by highly qualified health care workers.

In the emergency room the nurses, and physicians were attentive to my needs, and listened closely to what I told them had been going on prior to the episode, what was going on at that time, and what I thought it felt like, based on my lengthy history struggling against Crohns Disease. I told them it felt like I had pancreatitis, and I had the same pains I have when I have a bowel obstruction. They were thorough with their questions, and responded to my pain in a very fast manner, not making me go through tests before getting me some relief. I am grateful they did so because I was in extreme grievous pain.

When I was admitted they told me the CT confirmed pancreatitis, and they needed to do an additional lab test on me to exclude something. After a couple of days I was able to give them what they wanted to perform the lab test, and within a day, and a half had the results. They discovered I had an infection that had released spores into my colon causing my colon to become inflamed. I had colitis from this infectious spore problem, and that is what was making me feel as if I had a bowel obstruction.

My Hospitalist was Doctor Sanchez, and she was the best Hospitalist I have ever had. She was very patient with me, and responsive to the problems I was having, including the severe pain caused by the Pancreatitis, and infectious Colitis. Moreover, she fully explained everything  that was wrong with me, and did not push me to leave the hospital early. The Physician Assistant, Dawn, who covers rounds for Dr. Abassi was  very thorough, with the questions she asked, and the exams she gave. Dr. Abbassi, of Digestive Disease Consultants, Jacksonville, Florida, (904) 388 – 9696, watched over my case closely, and understood when I declined a probe of my pancreas because it still hurt too bad. Dr. Abassi, and Dr. Sanchez supervised a brilliant diagnosis, and miraculous treatment. To sum up the medical care I received, “They saved my life!”. 

The entire Nursing, and Associate Care Provider staff was respectful, considerate, compassionate, competent, responsive in a timely manner, and all the other great qualities a person wants from these professionals who have constant contact, and interaction with patients while they are in the hospital.  I am very grateful for all they did for me. From getting my pain shots to me quickly, keeping up with my voluminous medications, getting my routine medications to me on schedule, and watching out for changes in my health, the nurses did an outstanding job. Christa, Jessica, Jose, Gracie, and Denise are some of the nurses who took great care of me. The ACPs did a great job keeping up with my vitals, changing my bed sheets, giving me new hospital gowns, keeping my ice water filled, bringing me juices, talking to me in a compassionate way that helped keep my spirits up, telling the nurses when things were not right, assisting me into the shower,  and bunches of other stuff. The Nurses, and ACPs did an exceptional job delivering top-notch, compassionate care, to me, at a time I could not advocate for myself. I am grateful for all they did for me.

Had they not checked me for that specific infection it would have killed me. People are dying around the world from it.  Even my Gastroenterologist’s Mother in Law passed away from it. The weird part of it all is I did not fit into any of the predisposing scenarios, nor did I have any of the risk factors for it, yet somehow I got it. I thank the Good Lord he inspired someone to test me for it.  After being on antibiotics for just 2 days I started feeling better, and after the full course, I must say I have not felt this well in a very long time, years even. I still have problems from all the surgeries, and the wasting from the Crohns disease, but the problems from the infectious Colitis were weighing heavy on me, unbeknownst to me, and after receiving the treatment for it, I feel so much better!

Here is a significant indicator things have improved. I have been seeing a Hematologist for 5 years due to long-term blood loss, from inflammation, due to Crohns disease. Over these five years, no matter how much iron was infused into my veins, nor how frequent, my Iron Saturation has stubbornly refused to go into the normal range. Single digit iron saturation values, and a few low double-digit values were the best that could be realised for me, in spite of a very hands on, and highly qualified Hematologist Team, led by Dr. Mary Aplin, and over the past few years, carried out by Ruth Davis, ARNP, at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Lake City, Florida. Guess what happened? Sixteen days after I got out of the hospital, I went to the VA, and had my blood pulled. When the results came back from the lab, not only did I not need an iron treatment, my Iron Saturation Value was 22, in the NORMAL range! Obviously this other problem with the Colitis was causing problems with my blood, over, and above the problems I was having cased by the blood loss from recurring bouts of Crohns Disease.

I thank Almighty God for placing the people at Saint Vincents Hospital, Jacksonville, Florida, in my life, as well as giving them the knowledge, and the skills, to care for the sick. They are His tools for helping people. They use the knowledge God gave them, and He does the healing.  The Hand of God is in all of it.  I am very grateful.

Thanks for stopping by!

mark

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Filed under Crohns Disease, Florida, Health, Jacksonville, Life as a Disabled Veteran, Local, Personal, Spiritual, Veterans Issues

My Disappointing Doctor’s Appointment – How An MD With Terminal Cancer Helped My Perspective

Today I went to the Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic,  for my semi-annual physical exam. I had a different doctor because the new primary care doctor assigned me last year quit December 2011 because she did not like the VA system. Pity she quit, she is a brilliant physician, very thorough, and has an excellent bed side manner (she communicates well). I got a bit spoiled after just a few appointments with her, because, as I have said, she is one of the top 5 physicians I have ever seen, in the 25 year history of my disease. For those who must know her name, it is Dr. Marcia O. Miller.

Today I saw a physician who has been given the thankless task of seeing all of her patients due for semi-annual physicals. I looked up his credentials before going in, and he is well trained in several areas of medicine; furthermore he is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO), which is a rarity in the VA system. I have had wonderful results with D.O.s in the past, and had my hopes high, for a good visit, with a physician trained a bit differently than the average Medical Doctor (MD). D.O.s take an entirely different approach to medicine. If you ever get a chance, go see one. You will not be disappointed.

I guess I put my hopes a bit too high because the D.O. was really slammed trying to catch up the case load. Certain patients must be seen, at a minimum, every 6 months, by law, so he has an overwhelming task ahead of him. I knew this, and should have been prepared for it; nonetheless, I was not prepared for what I got. All I got was an 8 minute visit with this doctor. I am the type, it takes me a few minutes to warm up to someone, and 8 minutes was not enough time to cover a 25 year history, not even the high lights. He listened to my lungs, and heart, refilled all my routine meds, and I was out the door. Not exactly what I had envisioned, but after several serenity prayers, and a long drive home, I understood.

I was still grappling with it all, and the totality of my problems when I ran across an article about a doctor, 29yrs old, newlywed, who was diagnosed with incurable cancer. Her stories put everything into perspective, and made me thankful for the health I have, compromised as it is. I will let her story speak for itself. Here is the link. I hope you gain something from reading it. It is very worthwhile reading, and not too long.

LINK: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2154683/How-having-terminal-cancer-better-doctor.html?ITO=1490

If you want, cruise back by, and let me know what you think about her struggles.

Take Care of Yourself, and Tell Someone You Love Them,

mark

 

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Filed under Health, Life as a Disabled Veteran, Spiritual, Veterans Issues

Black History Month – What The Civil Rights Movement Means to Me – Is One Month Enough For Black History?

February is Black History Month, in the United States. It is Black History Month in some other places too, but the focus of this blog entry is Black History Month in America, especially in the Southern United States. Before I start writing, I want to publish a couple of pictures. Please take the time out your busy schedule, reflect on these pictures, and ponder their deeper meaning.

"Am I not a man and a brother?"

Black men in chains.

All humans are created in the image of God. Why is the image of God in chains?

Growing up in the deep south, I have witnessed my share of bigotry. However, I consider myself fortunate to have attended school, from the First Grade on, in integrated classes. Even when my parents took me out of the public school system, I was placed in a Catholic School, and there was no segregation there. I know no other way than integration, and I am very grateful for the sacrifices of so many people, so that I can live in a better society. It is my hope that my generation leaves an even more enlightened, and inclusive society, to the next generation, and they will continue the good fight of an enlightened, and inclusive society, knowing no bigotry.

As I grew up, I learned in history classes about slavery, and the Civil War. The one item that was conspicuously absent from the public school curriculum, at that time, was subject matter relating to the Civil Rights Act. Absent from the curriculum were the struggles that took place, to enable persons of color, to vote freely, ride wherever they wanted on public transportation, drink from a water fountain that whites used, eat in a restaurant, and the many other struggles against shameful atrocities committed against black people, because of their desire for equal rights, and access under the law. The riots, beatings, cross burnings, intimidation, murders, kidnappings, and all of the other brutal acts committed against black people were not covered in my public school history/social studies lessons. I was pulled from public school for a couple of years, and placed in a Catholic School, because my parents did not think I was being properly educated. It was the best move they could have made for me. My reading skills were in the lower tier, and the great teachers at Holy Rosary brought me up to a college reading level. Thankfully, they also saw to it I was educated about this terrible chapter, in the history of the United States, as well as other despicable chapters, in the history, of not only America, but the World. I am grateful for the foundation laid early on in my life. A foundation of integration, and tolerance.

Even though I was being educated in an integrated environment, I still was witness to some nasty deeds done in the name of racism. I remember seeing a white boy beat a black boy for simply riding his bicycle on a certain street. I was much younger than both of them, but I remember feeling sorry for the black boy. He was just riding his bicycle. He was not hurting anyone. The entire attack was due to ignorance. The white kid was copying what he saw white adults doing. I would hate to have been the example that kid was following. That single event turned me off to racist attacks, and racism.

As a people we still have some work to do. In some ways we seem to be going backwards when it comes to race relations, and in others we seem to be advancing. I strongly believe racism is due to ignorance. People are not born hating other races. Ignorance begets prejudice. Kids also copy what they see their parents do. It is a shame that we still have racism in this nation. One would hope the struggles of the past would be enough to bring it to an end once and for all. We must insist our school districts teach more black history than they currently do, especially in the deep south. One month out of the year is not enough to teach black history. There is so much to cover; Slavery, the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation, Reconstruction, Military contributions/sacrifices in all wars from the Civil War to the current war against terror, medical advances (Dr. Drew, for starters), musical influences, civil rights struggle, Civil Rights Act, and much, much more. Proclaiming one month as Black History Month is not adequate to the challenge of teaching Black History. Perhaps one day Black History will be on par with White History, and the History Books will be balanced. Until then, more needs to be done by schools to teach Black History.

I was raised in a Christian home. The Bible was, and still is the final authority, on all matters, for me. The Bible says we are all made in the image of God. How any person of faith could twist the Bible to put a race down, and try to keep them down is beyond me; however, people did just that, and continued to do so for some time. Unfortunately prejudice still has a place in churches to this day. Even in churches that have a mixed congregation, one does not have far to look to find racism. The church is supposed to be a sanctuary of love, and a place founded by Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, we still hear the whispers, amongst both races, one putting the other down. Not to single any particular faith out, but a here are a  couple of examples, of how racism still affects our Christian churches. In most Southern towns there is a Baptist Church that is majority white, and one that is majority black, because of a split in the church over slavery a long time ago. This rift is supposedly over, but come Sunday mornings things appear to have changed only nominally. Another example of racists days gone by is how the Mormons (Latter Day Saints) did not allow black men into the priesthood until the 1970s. In my humble opinion all churches have a responsibility to teach their members the Biblical truth that all of us are created in the image of God. Since we are all created in His image, we should love one another, uplift each other, and never put people down because of the pigmentation of their skin, or for any other reason.

We still have a long way to go. Dialogue is the only way we are going to be able to work through the ignorance. It is ignorance that causes a person to have racists views. Educating our children about these matters is of paramount importance. Teaching tolerance, and respect through our words, as well as our deeds are the best ways to teach a lesson this important. The ways of the past need to remain buried, but not forgotten, lest they find their way back to a position of prominence in our lives.

May You Have Peace In Your Life,

mark

Source for Second Pic – 3 men in chains – North Park University Chicago

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New Black Panthers Protest Convicted Sex Offender In Pulpit – The Preaching Pervert vs The New Black Panthers

Jacksonville, Florida – The New Black Panthers are picketing Christ Tabernacle Baptist Church, on the north side of Jacksonville, in protest of the church allowing a convicted sexual predator to preach to adult congregants.

Former mega church pastor Darrell Gilyard, who committed his crimes against two girls at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church was released from prison two months ago. According to The Florida Times Union, court records reveal Gilyard admitted to being the father, of a child, from a woman who said he seduced, then raped her during a counseling session in 2004. 

Christ Tabernacle Baptist Church said their attendance skyrocketed from around 15 people to over 150 adults preached to by Gilyard, at a recent service. The church states it is not allowing anyone under the age of 18 to attend the services the pedophile Gilyard presides over. Attendees under the age of 18 are barred from the services, with services for youths being held separately.

The New Black Panthers are vowing to dig in, and protest until the convicted pedophile Gilyard stops presiding over services at the church. They cite the danger to the community being too high to allow a sexual predator access to such a sensitive job. Church officials are quick to point out the precautions being taken to prevent Gilyard direct access to minors is sufficient, that Gilyard deserves to be forgiven, and given a second chance.

What are these people thinking? Do they think Gilyard’s being denied to preach to youths is really going to stop him from preying on another person? Gilyard fully admits to fathering a child of one of his former congregants. The former congregant alleges he raped her during a counseling session. He is convicted of preying on children. Darrell Gilyard is in the highest category of dangerous sex offenders. He just got out of prison two months ago! Are the members of Christ Tabernacle so desperate to grow their church they will make a deal with the devil?

Many people are wondering why the state is allowing Mr. Gilyard to hold this particular job. My question is why is the church allowing it? I agree Mr. Gilyard needs God, and the forgiveness that comes only from Jesus Christ. I disagree with Christ Tabernacle Baptist Church, and their decision to allow this sick man to align himself in a position from which he could potentially prey on yet another person.

I fully support The New Black Panthers’ decision to protest Darrell Gilyard being in the pulpit of Christ Tabernacle Baptist Church. I hope they succeed in denying Gilyard access to potential victims.

I will update this story as it develops………

Sources: WJXT, The Florida Times Union, Jacksonville.com, new4jax.com

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