What is recurrent peroneal tendon subluxation? Oh, I need ankle surgery!

So yesterday was my birthday and I turned 52 years old.  To finish the celebration properly today I am going in to have surgery for recurrent peroneal tendon subluxation and a torn superior peroneal retinaculum.  I am having surgery on my ankle.  It has been bothering me for a couple of years and the pain has been getting worse and worse.  It is to the point that just running on the treadmill causes sharp pains throughout the duration of the workout and a lingering heaviness and ache until the next day or two when I have tried to run again.  I haven’t run much for the last 2 months and my foot hurts when I walk so I know that it needs work done.  Apparently there are a couple of things going on.  There is a tear in the tendon and the tendon is also dislocating and rubbing against the ankle bone, grinding away at the tendon.  The doctor says it likely developed from recurrent ankle sprains which occurred over the years of driving the lane, juking defenders, and making winning shots in untold numbers of basketball games on various courts across the playgrounds of America.  <somebody cue the “Sweet Georgia Brown soundtrack>   Wait! Stop the music.  I confess, I added all of that business after “likely developed from recurrent ankle sprains.”  I played pretty hard through the years and I had a pretty quick first step at one time… but juking defenders?  Turns out the only ankles I broke were mine. In reality, I did step on a lot of others people’s feet on my way to the basket and on the way to some of my rebounds which caused me some injuries.

According to my research, basketball is not the only way to qualify for this surgery.  It also commonly occurs with injuries associated with skiing, snowboarding, horseback riding and water skiing.  The good news is that this type of injury responds well to surgery.  They will stitch the tendon back together and then tack it back into place so it will no longer dislocate.  I will get to wear a boot for 4 to 6 weeks and then do some physical therapy and then start working out again.  <cue the Rocky sound  track>  My doctor told me that with the high arches of my feet that I will need to limit my running to only a couple of times per week in the future.  That means I will have to learn to like the elliptical or the bicycle.  I promised him I would try but that I would not wear spandex.  He just shook his head and left the room.

Not running 4 to 5 times a week and working out on a bike or elliptical will mean I will have to develop some new habits.   That will be difficult to do.  But the doc says I will be able to play basketball again.  So once I rehab, eventually I will be back on the court again, driving the lane, juking defenders, and hopefully NOT breaking ankles.   Next time I play, I will pray for wisdom, discernment and I will lift up Proverbs 4:26 for myself and the other athletes.

Prov 4:26  Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established.

I hope that you have a great week!  I hope that your path is easy, your games injury free and that your feet are planted on solid ground.  I hope that you know how much the Lord loves you!  Until next time, keep the faith.

Posted in a torn superior peroneal retinaculum, ankle surgery, Christianity, faith, foot surgery, God, Proverbs 4:26, recurrent peroneal tendon subluxation, religion, sprained ankle, what is recurrent peroneal tendon subluxation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Break It Down – Don’t Worry

This afternoon I am going to the hospital to have a a lithotripsy procedure.  It is a process where a doctor uses sonic waves to blast and break up a kidney stone inside your kidney so that you can more easily pass it.  I choose my words carefully there and said “more easily pass it” rather than “pass it easily” because if you have ever passed a kidney stone you know that even the small ones don’t pass easily.  I have never heard of anyone going to the bathroom, giggling and saying, “Well I’ll be, I just passed a kidney stone.”  Nope, doesn’t happen.  I had a lithotripsy two years ago for a stone that as I recall was about 9 millimeters in size and some of the fragments that I passed in the ensuing days were 2 millimeters in size.  There was no giggling involved.  Apparently this current stone is only about 5 millimeters in size – passable enough but it is shaped like the state of Louisiana.  Because it is shaped like the state of Louisiana it would probably feel like about the same size as Louisiana – so my doctor recommended breaking it up.  I readily agreed.

Kidney stones are a problem and like most problems when they get too big you can more easily deal with them if you break them up into more manageable chunks.  It’s that way with most of our big problems, oftentimes they can become overwhelming in scope but if we can just find a way to break them down and deal with them in smaller segments we will find that we can get through it.  I have talked with people before who worry and wonder how they are going to get through the next year or the next month and I try to lovingly share with them that they are asking the wrong question and tackling too big of a problem.  Yes, plan and strategize long term but realize that we only have to make it through one day at a time.  We only have to make it through one day at a time because we are only given one day at a time.  I love what Jesus said in Matthew 6:34

Matt 6:34   “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

The Lord was not telling us not to plan or prepare long term but rather He was telling us to trust in Him on a daily basis.  He was telling us to take our troubles, our trials and break them down into manageable chunks and daily give them to Him.  If you read Matthew chapter 6 this week, I know that you will be blessed.  Jesus tells us where to place our priorities so that we don’t have to worry or be dismayed.  I hope that you have a good week and I hope that you know that God loves you.  Until next time stay strong in the faith.

Posted in Christianity, faith, God, Lithotripsy, Matthew 6:34, patience, religion | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Protector and Deliverer

elephant  We had a great time visiting my son Eric and his wife Amanda in St. Louis last week. While we were there Eric took us to the zoo. It is a wonderful place and admittance is free just like all the museums in town. The zoo is well shaded throughout with many large shade trees.  With all the trees I managed to avoid a sun burn even though we spent several hours there walking around in the heat of the day.

The heat and humidity kept most of the animals in the shade too. We were moving around more than they were! The only one who really put on a show was the elephant. While I was snapping some photos he charged toward us. Now you better believe that if we had been in the wild and he charged me, I would have taken off so fast people would have heard cartoon noises and seen a cloud of dust. But I just kept taking pictures because I knew there was a barrier between him and me. I knew I was safe; I wasn’t worried.

Later on as I was looking at the pictures of the elephant I noticed that the barrier was not visible in the picture – but it is there nonetheless. Even though all I could see was the elephant charging, I was safe. It reminded me of the promise found in Psalms 18:2.  David writes:

“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

I love the confidence David shows in the Lord.  Someone looking at snapshots of David’s life might think he is in big trouble.  He has an enemy who hates him, who hunts him and seeks to do him harm. The snapshot at times is a little scary.  But David knows the bigger picture.  He knows the Lord can be trusted to watch over him.  He knows that despite his circumstances he is safe and that the Lord stands between him and every enemy.  He knows the Lord is with him in the midst of every trial and tribulation, every battle and each bad day. He knows that the Lord who gives him hope for the hereafter can be trusted to give him help in the here and now.

I pray you have that same hope. I pray that you know the Lord as your Rock, your Fortress and your Deliverer. If you do you will never face an enemy, a battle or a problem alone.  And I pray that when the perspective of this world tells you that you are facing those situations alone that you will look past the perspective of this world and turn to the promise of the word!  Look past the snapshot and see the bigger picture. You have a Deliverer!  Trust that the Lord will be your Refuge!  Trust that He who has given you hope for the hereafter can be trusted to give you help in the here and now.  Until next time, stay strong in the faith.

Posted in Christianity, Church, faith, God, I have a Deliverer, Promises, Psalm 18:2, The Lord is my Refuge | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Waiting for Something From His Table

pelicans feeding

We stopped at Robbie’s Marina at mile marker 78 on the Overseas Highway back in April during our vacation to the Florida Keys. They have all kinds of things to do and see there. I noticed at one pier there were some huge fish called tarpon hanging around right next to the pier. Some were at least three feet long. I had never seen such large fish in such shallow water. Then I noticed a station to clean fish right above the place where those fish were gathered. I now understood why those fish were hanging out.  They were waiting.

A little while later a boat docked and someone came to clean their fish. As they fileted their fish and scraps fell or were tossed into the water, a tug of war ensued between a host of pelicans who had now joined the scene and the tarpons swarming below. They were all waiting to partake of whatever scraps they could get from the table.

The whole scene reminded me of Jesus’ encounter with the woman from Canaan in Mattew 15. In her persistence to obtain help for her daughter, she beseeches the Lord by saying, “Even the little dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their master’s table.” The Lord acknowledges her faith and heals her daughter. Because of her faith, she went to the place where she could get her need met. She went to the Lord and ultimately He answered her prayer.

Anytime I think about that passage from now on I will think about those tarpon and those pelicans. They went to the right place and waited. And as I think of them, I will ask myself, am I in the right place? Am I being patient? Am I waiting in His will, am I standing on His word and abiding in His ways? It was another beautiful day in the Keys with my beautiful bride as we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary.   The Lord is so good.

Posted in Christianity, faith, God, Matthew 15:27, prayer, waiting on the Lord | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Prayer Changes Things

I heard someone bemoaning certain issues the other day and after a while they concluded “All we can do is pray.”  Over the years I have heard that catch phrase a lot and I think that there is a general misunderstanding about prayer.  We too often think of prayer as casually tossing something to God or maybe even passionately and urgently laying something at His feet beseeching Him to change a situation.  Having pled our case, we stand up, wipe our hands and walk away.  Now, please hear me.  I believe in prayer.  I have seen some wonderful answers to prayer. (There are always answers to prayer, we usually only consider those answers to be wonderful if the answer is what we want! But that is another post.) As I was saying, I believe in prayer. Prayer changes things, we should pray.  Paul tells us in Philippians 4:6-7

Phil 4:6   Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Prayer is a good thing, an effectual thing.  It can bring us peace to the burdens and concerns on our hearts.  I think though that too often we drop off our list and walk away and there is no real peace because we have the wrong idea about prayer. Prayer is not meant to align God’s will up with ours but rather to line ours up with God’s.  Praying is like throwing a lasso around a mountain. We can pull and pull as hard as we want but we will never pull the mountain closer to us.  We can however pull ourselves closer to the mountain.

I know we get told “let go and let God” and I understand the sentiment behind that expression.  But there are some things that we are burdened with that we shouldn’t just give to God in prayer and then walk away.  If we do, we won’t have that peace that Paul talks about because God will not give us that peace and nothing will change because God placed that burden on our heart so that we might be His instrument affecting the change.  He drove us to Him in prayer not so that we could just drop off our burden, wipe our hands and walk away but so that we might be equipped, encouraged and inspired to deal with that burden and allow Him to affect the change through us!

It’s true.  God condescends to use us in this world to reveal His mercy, His comfort, His truth, His love, His goodness, His righteousness, His justice and any number of other attributes.  The Almighty receives great glory by using weak, flawed, mistake prone people like you and me….people who need and have a Savior.

Burdened about starving children? Yes pray for them, but how can you directly help them through giving or serving in some worthwhile organization?

Have a heart for single moms?  Is there a ministry at your church or in your community where you can help?  Is there such an individual in your sphere of influence that you can reach out to?

Worried about a relationship that is on the skids?  Have you prayed and asked the Lord to help you have the necessary conversation with that other person?  Do you need to seek or offer forgiveness?

Worried about the decline of attendance in your church?  Do you call people you haven’t seen in a while, do you embrace, engage and welcome visitors, do you consider yourself to be on mission in your community?

Whatever problems, burdens or worries you have, you should let them drive you to God in prayer.  Prayer is how we communicate with our heavenly Father, share our burdens, cast our cares upon Him and line ourselves up with His will.  We receive peace and answers.

Yes, prayer changes things. And God still works miracles and yes, sometimes He moves mountains. But perhaps the biggest miracle is that when I pray, He often moves me.


Posted in Christianity, Church, faith, God, Philippians 4:6, Philippians 4:7, religion | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Growing and Learning

The girls

I was blessed with the opportunity to spend some time with my daughter and granddaughters the other day.  Avery is 5 and Haley is 3 and they are such a joy to be around.  This week I was really struck by how much they are growing up.  Haley who is the youngest has always been a little bit shy and reserved but lately she is talking more than ever.  She is no longer just echoing the words and phrases of her big sister; now she is telling her own stories and coming up with her own phrases.  She also started learning how to write her name.  She is learning so much.  And that Avery is so smart too. She can do math and she just wrote a letter for me to deliver to her Uncle Eric and Aunt Amanda.  In just a couple of months she will start kindergarten.  And she started swimming underwater all by herself this summer!  I love to see the way the girls are growing and maturing.

As I was thinking about how fast they are growing, I reflected on the fact that growing and maturing is God’s plan for all of His Children.  If you are a Christian you are expected to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.  You are expected to mature in your faith.  We should not be surprised when that happens in a Christian’s life, we should be surprised when it doesn’t.  In Hebrews 5:12 the author is writing to some people who were demonstrating a lack of spiritual growth.  He said

Heb 5:12   For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.

Now, there is nothing wrong with milk.  There is a reason they say, “It does a body good.”  We expect babies to drink milk and to need a certain diet for a certain period of time.  But we also expect them to grow and we become worried if they don’t grow, mature and reach certain milestones.  That should cause us to pause and reflect.  Are we growing and maturing in our faith?  We expect a baby in the faith to act like a baby, but if you have been a Christian for a while some growth should have occurred.  You should no longer act like a baby or need to be treated like one.  How about you, are you growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ?  I hope so.  If not, ask the Lord to help you in this matter.  I know that He will answer your prayer.  Until next time, stay strong in the faith.

Posted in Christianity, Church, faith, grandchildren, Hebrews 5:12, inspirational, Learning in the Lord, wisdom | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Be Prepared

I was working in my study the other morning and the Lord impressed upon me that I should leave for work earlier tnan usual.  This would give me some extra time to talk to someone on His behalf on the way.  Who?  I did not know.  I hopped in my car and I was on my way.  As I drove I prayed about where I was to stop and who I was to talk with. This gas station?  No, the tank was nearly full. The donut shop?  Nope, there would be no donuts this morning.  I finally decided to stop at a coffee shop that I frequent on a semi-regular basis.  I figured I would go in and buy a cup of coffee and prayerfully let the Lord lead the conversation.

When I pulled up in the parking lot, through the window I noticed a new guy working the counter.  He must be the one I am supposed to visit with!  I eagerly got out of the car and as I did, my heart sank.  I had left my billfold at home and I didn’t have any money to buy any coffee.  I got back in my car and drove off. I figured the Lord was trying to teach me a lesson.  I had left the house without my billfold, I was unprepared to do what He wanted me to do.

Then it dawned on me. He did not ask me to leave early so that I could buy coffee.  He asked me to leave early so that I could speak to someone on His behalf.  I did not need any money to do that.  What was it Simon Peter said?  Oh yeah, “Siver and gold have I none, but what I have I give to you…”

I turned around and drove back!  I went in and the man asked how he could help me.  I told him I didnt have my billfold and I shared my story and asked him if had any prayer requests.  You guessed it, he did.  I talked to him briefly about God’s faithfulness and promised to pray for him. When I left he offered me a free cup of coffee and some other goodies which I respectfully declined.  The lesson for me was not that I should not leave my house unprepared but that I should always leave prepared to do exactly as God has asked me to do.

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