Showing posts from June, 2013


I "like" Kay Redfield Jamison on Facebook. If you don't know, she is a renowned professor at Johns Hopkins in psychiatry and mood disorders. She has also written extensively (with enlightenment from personal experience with her own Bipolar disorder) on mood disorders, as well as on suicide, which is one of my personal research interests. Her books are fascinating. I don't see many updates on Facebook from her page, but tonight there was one, featuring artwork by Jessica Kizorek. Kizorek was inspired by Jamison's book An Unquiet Mind and made this (click on the link above to find out more about the piece):

The featured quote from Jamison's book is this:
"So why would I want anything to do with this illness? Because I honestly feel that as a result of it I have felt more things, more deeply; had more experiences, more intensely; loved more, and been more loved; laughed more often for having cried more often; appreciated more the springs, for all the winte…

Jesus and the Midnight Toker [Nicodemus Remix]

Do you know what I get from the account in John 3 of Nicodemus coming to Jesus at night to inquire about salvation?

Not all things that are done in secret are bad!

I've always been told Nicodemus came at night to talk to Jesus because he was afraid of being "caught" by the rest of the Sanhedrin (of which he was a member). This might be so. It also might be the only time of the day he had free to come, after he got off work. Or maybe he was home thinking about some things and just decided he couldn't wait until morning to go talk to this Jesus guy and ask some questions. It doesn't really matter. The point is, he came to Jesus. He sought out the truth. Whether it was a public proclamation for him (as it was later when he placed Jesus' crucified body in his own personal tomb) or a discreet matter of personal spirituality (if he was "sneaking" to ask Jesus questions), it just really doesn't matter. He followed his heart...and possibly his intellect…

7 Quick Takes Friday - dead things, discontinued things, and deworming things

---1--- My garden is not growing as well as I had hoped. In fact, at least half of it is dead. BUT, my one lonely tomato is hanging in there;
 the broccoli and Brussels sprouts plants are still alive, even if they aren't growing (today, Thursday, I replanted one of them in an actual pot to see if that helps); and Sunday morning I discovered a new surprise to add to the success of my tomato:
(Hey - I just posted a pic of a pepper...sounds like a bit of poetry-in-the-making to me!) O.o
---2--- While tending my tomato plant today (Thursday) I discovered something interesting. It was indeed mostly dead, but the tomato was continuing to ripen, and even new branches were growing that were not dead. 

The vine itself is still vibrant. It reminded me of John 15 when Jesus said, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing" (verse 5, NIV). I also took a hint from verse 2 and went ahead and pr…

S2: Innovation

A few years ago I left a bookstore with Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City. An entrancing read, it made me want to read more of his works, and I soon ordered Thunderstruck on I never got around to reading it, though, and so I finally started it yesterday. It segues nicely into the next story post I wanted to write - more from my friend Millie - about work ethic and innovation in entrepreneurship.

Larson's habit is to weave two dissimilar lives together in a sort of double biography that no one would ever think to thrust together. For example, in Devil in the White City he tells the story of Daniel H. Burnham, the architect responsible for the phenomenal structures of the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, as intertwined with the tale of another inhabitant of Chicago at the same time, serial killer H. H. Holmes. Thunderstruck mingles the paths of Guglielmo Marconi, discoverer of wireless telegraphy (the precursor to radio and telephone technology), and…

Father to the Fatherless

This morning, early, I updated my status on Facebook as follows: "If I never have children, I can live with that just fine...but one of my regrets about it will be that I never got the chance to love someone so unconditionally just because it was a 'reflex,' almost, to do so. I think I would understand God's love much better with that experience. However, on the other hand, because God's love IS like that, I understand the Scriptures that assure us He is the Father of the fatherless. God's love is so beautiful." It struck me after the fact that it was an appropriate posting for Father's Day.

At the end of my Quick Takes post on Friday, I included a couple videos of the song "All My Tears." One of the lines in it says, "...I will not be ashamed, for my Savior knows my name." The old TV show Cheers had a themesong, "Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name...and they're always glad you came." The country…

7 Quick Takes Friday - on selling my body, monkey business, and a coffee recommendation

---1--- On selling my body.... As I've mentioned before, I'm looking for a second job since school is out. Until I find one, I decided maybe I would try donating plasma...and I did in fact try, last Friday. My brother was horrified. "You've sunken to selling your body?!" he exclaimed. "Well, yes...I guess you could look at it that way," I replied humorously. I was surprised that it did not hurt. The needle going in the arm was just a slight stick, and then it was relatively painless. However, I failed to hydrate as well as I should have, and since I work third shift and went to the place not long after I woke up Friday around noon, all I ate beforehand was a granola bar, and that only because the instructions say to eat well before you donate. Well, I learned they tell you that for a reason. I passed out after they had only drawn what looked to me like maybe 6 or 7 ounces of plasma. I still got the full payment, which I thought was generous, and the nu…

S1: War Stories and Celebration

My life hasn't been interesting enough this last week to do a Quick Takes post, so I thought I would go ahead and begin my story posts instead.

Since returning from vacation I have spent the majority of my time holed up in my apartment avoiding the outside world. I've done a lot more reading than I have in a long time! First, I read The Pianist by Wladislaw Szpilman, and the other day I started Bess W. Truman by Margaret Truman (I am about a third of the way into it). The first was (as most of you know) a memoir about a Polish Jew's survival in Warsaw during WWII. The second covered a little about WWI, especially as it affected Kansas City, Missouri, and now I am into the portion on the Great Depression.

All of these subjects remind me of my friend Millie, another great storyteller in my life whom I forgot to mention in my post on storytelling. I met Millie several years ago in Joplin...I believe she was 93 at the time. She passed away in April 2011 at the age of 97. I t…


Last week I watched the movie Big Fish for the first time. It reminded me how much I LOVE meeting someone with the ability to tell a great story. I don't have it! I can write a decent story...or I can tell one if I know it really well or have practiced it a whole lot ahead of time. But to just speak with creativity and hold others spellbound as a natural talent? Nope.

The person who comes to mind as the best storyteller I ever knew was one of my high school science teachers, my very favorite teacher of my pre-college education days, named Mr. (Phil) Nave. First, he was a phenomenal teacher - he made science interesting. He even took my Anatomy & Physiology class on a trip to a nearby university's cadaver lab. Second, he studied philosophy in school and was a person in search of truth, much as I consider myself to be; and when I was in high school I used to carry my Bible through school with me every day, and so Mr. Nave and I used to have a lot of philosophical discussion…