Well, I had a stress test this morning. The medically-induced kind, where they shoot me with something that dilates the veins, lowers the BP, and stresses the heart that way. Kind of a long procedure, as they first shot me up with some radioactive stuff and let it circulate a bit (you might want to scoot your chair back a little...), took 12 minutes worth of pics with a Gamma Camera (gotta LOVE that name), then a little wait, followed by the vaso-dilator, accompanied by an EKG.
After that, they gave me some more glow-juice and let that swirl around the bod for a while, then shot 12 more minutes of film with the Gamma Camera (still LOVE that name).
Then Sprite, Peanut Butter Crackers, and we came home. I suppose everything's ok for now, as the followup appointment isn't until the 21st. Unless, of course, the doc calls and ask how soon I can get there....
Ironic part (#1): the cause of this was some mild chest pains, ongoing for some 4 months or so (despite a normal EKG), accompanied by mild hot flashes. So, Monday, I googled around with "Nasonex side effects" and guess what .. it says up to 5% have headaches (I've had more lately...), and "muscles or bone pain" .. that's where the chest stuff was happening .. in the muscles .. plus some undescribed percentage getting chest pains. Well, since momma didn't raise no morons, I stopped using Nasonex Monday.
Yup. You guessed it. Pains have tapered off greatly since then (a lady in my small group is a pharmacist and said it takes several days to get all steroids ... like Nasonex ... out of one's system).
Ironic part (#2): I couldn't take any of my meds before the test this morning .. so no BP pills since last night .. and when they checked the BP at 10:00 a.m., it was 120/70.
They let me walk out, so my guess is that, as someone once said, there may be a whole lot less there, than meets the eye.
Had lunch with my friend, Monte Erwin, yesterday. That's always a great time, as Monte and I kind of sharpen each other's iron. We're just good for each other, kind of like CB Scott and I, are. Just one of those God things, and during the threshin' session over lunch, God connected some dots for me. We'd gotten to talking about the idea that "your faith has made you well", which Jesus said to the lady who'd touched the hem of his garment, and had been healed right then. Well ... I'd always wondered how that really worked, as she plainly had that faith from the moment she decided to crawl over and touch Him! So .. if it was the faith, why did she have to complete the crawl and the touch? But then it hit me ... faith, without works, is dead! So, when she put her works with her faith, the result was her healing.
When the best in that business, at that time, couldn't help her.
Wow. I wonder if that applies to folks who walk the aisle, shake the hand, say the prayer, and take the plunge? Is there something they must subsequently do to secure their salvation? I honestly don't know, but I do know that one verse we used to use for assurance of salvation might just indicate that something else is needed. It's ...
"Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God..—" (John 1:12, NIV)
(The emphasis is mine, to highlight the fact that it doesn't say that we become children of God when we receive Him .. when we believe in His name .. but that we receive the right to become children of God.)
Wow, again. I have to ask if we make it too easy to "give your heart to Jesus", or invite "Jesus into your heart" (terms I don't find in scripture, anyway). Well, I'm not about to try to change the course of churches, but I can certainly make sure that my teaching, my discussions, all follow the Biblically-recommended course of repentance, confession, salvation, and discipleship. And working out our salvation with fear and trembling.
Just as I was walking into the classroom at church, to prepare for my small group last night, C.B. Scott called. He said he'd meant to call me earlier in the day, but hadn't (he's the busiest pastor, at pastoring, that I know). He said they were Baptizing 17 folks at Westmont, last night! And they were not folks from Westmont Baptist church! They are all young people from a local Teen Challenge Center, where C.B. leads a weekly Bible Study.
Here comes another wow. The church acting like the church! Not bound by either a) the four walls of the building, or by b) somebody's idea of a "program". That's just the coolest thing!
I mean .. come one now .. how many times does Jesus have to tell us to minister to "the least of these" .. or to visit those in prison .. or to feed the hungry .. or tend to the widows .. for us to finally get it?
I've given up teaching my Sunday School Class. Been at it for 8 years or so, and God just kept stirring something in me that said "take some time off from that". It's weird, but what's even weirder is how much more crystal clear and "connected" scripture has become, since I made the decision, the announcement, and the arrangements.
So I'm really looking forward to beginning a new Sunday night class on Spiritual Gifts, the Baptist Faith and Message, and whatever God lays in our laps to study (after those run their course in a couple months). I've done those before, but something tells me that it's going to be better the next time.
I can hardly wait.