The Power of Pleasant Words

It has been a busy, crazy month.  But even though it has been busy, crazy… I feel good.  The Lord has blessed me, watched over me and I know that “this too shall pass.”  But I have to admit I was able to finish this week strong because of some timely words of encouragement from several people.  Whether it was thanking me for something I had done, checking to see how my recovery was going and letting me know they were praying for me, reminding me how blessed I am, or helping me to remember that God has a plan and a purpose for each and every one of us that will be worked out in His time…every one of these dear friends encouraged me, strengthened me and blessed me.  They ministered to me and they probably didn’t even realize it.  As I reflect on the impact they had on me, I am reminded of what the Bible says in Proverbs 16:24 “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”

Our words can make a difference in the lives of others.  They can lift people up or bring them down.  Oh, that we would lift people up and speak with Grace and Truth.  I am grateful for my friends and my family.  I am indeed a blessed man.  I pray that I will be able to go forth this week and next and bless others as I have been blessed.  I pray that my words will be pleasant and sweet and line up with the Grace of the Lord.

Posted in Controlling our words, encouraging others, faith, influencing others, inspirational, pleasant words, Proverbs 16:24 | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Adding Tools to the Tool Belt – Chaplaincy 101

This week I completed some forms for a chaplaincy training program which I will start in October. The program is through a local hospital and will last 6 months. It will involve some class room training and a few hours each week spent in the hospital working as a chaplain. I signed up because I believe I will learn some additional skills which will help me as I minister to others who are facing difficult times. It’s not that I feel poor or deficient in this area. Unfortunately, I have faced plenty of those experiences already. I have walked these paths with some friends before and I have already had the chance to develop some of these skills.

It’s just that I think it is always good to add more tools to the tool belt … and I know I can learn more in this regard. I also know that when people are sick and hurting, when they feel like they can’t go on, when it is hard for them to even open their eyes any more, the time spent with them is precious. I know I want to be able to make the most of that time even if it is just sitting there in the silence with them holding their hand. Sometimes in those situations there are questions people ask; sometimes in those moments there are things that need to be said, conversations that need to be held with them or family members. I want to learn the best way to say those things. I believe the training I will receive will help me in that regard. I expect to learn how to better listen, engage, minister to and meet the needs of those who are in situations where they need the services of a chaplain, a minister, and someone who cares. Please pray that I will be the student and the servant that God has called me to be.

Posted in chaplaincy training program, Christianity, faith, inspirational, ministry work, Praying for Others | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Post Op Experience after Surgery for recurrent peroneal tendon subluxation and torn superior peroneal retinaculum

I recently had sugery for recurrent peroneal tendon subluxation and a torn superior peroneal retinaculum.  I had severely sprained my left ankle a few times over the years playing basketball and I fell again in February this year.  Apparently all the thrills and spill have taken their toll and the tendon is dislocating and rubbing against the ankle bone, grinding away at the tendon.  So, I have had surgery to correct it so that I can eventually get back on the court.  Here is what to expect post op after the surgery.  In the surgery they will basically repair any tears in the tendon and tack it back down so that it no longer dislocates and rubs against your ankle bone.  You will wear a walking boot for 4-6 weeks following surgery.  They probably shouldn’t call this a walking boot as you will be using crutches for at least 2 weeks.  I’ll keep you posted.  You won’t take the boot off for two weeks and you won’t get that leg wet for two weeks either.  Showers and baths will be loads of fun.  You will probably stick your leg out of the tub and have your spouse pour water on you ad rinse you off.   You have to do this because you cannot take off the “walking boot” for at least 2 weeks.  So, here is a recap on what I experienced post op the first week after surgery.

Day of Surgery – They tell you to bring crutches.  You can leave them in the car.  You won’t need them until you get home because the staff will wheel you out of the surgery center.  It is just day surgery.  You can’t eat or drink anything after midnight which if you are like me means you will get a migraine.  My head was pounding by the time I got home at 6:00 pm.  I ended up getting sick to my stomach around 10:00 pm despite the nausea medication.  But, the foot did not hurt too bad.  Shoot, this was going to be easy I thought…if I could only get rid of that dumb headache.  I was given a script for pain medication from the surgery center that my wife filled before we left that day.  I took  a pill every 4 hours after I got home.  Only 1 pill every 4 hours…not bad.

Day 1 following surgery – I worked from home that day.  Hey, I had a laptop and I had work to do.  I put my laptop in my lap (duh) and propped my leg up and all was good.  My leg did not hurt too bad and I took a pain pill every 4 hours.  My head was finally okay, (thank you Lord) and my stomach felt better since 10:00 pm the night before.  So, yeah, all was good.  I used my crutches and I even only used one crutch once in the kitchen when I was washing the coffee pot.  This is going to be easy!  I went back to the couch and worked some more, ate dinner and went to bed that night about 10.  I woke up about 10:25 and wondered how in the world do they expect you to sleep while you wear this big clunky boot?  I am a side sleeper and this is horrible.  I tossed and turned and fell back asleep…on my back.  I woke up at 11:00 pm and moved to the couch.  At 11:35 I woke up and my foot was pounding!  I did the math and figured I was still 90 minutes away from another pain pill.  Wait!  The bottle says “Take 1 or 2 pills every 4 – 6 hours”… so I grabbed my crutches and loped over to the kitchen and got another as fast as I could!  I waited for it to help…it really didn’t help much.  I didn’t remember my back surgery hurting this much but that was almost 5 years ago and I was in the hospital for almost a week and I had an IV drip with pain medications…so, it is probably not a fair comparison.  This thang was hurtin’.  By midnight I was googling “Post op pain following surgery for recurrent peroneal tendon subluxation.”  As I tried to find some info I wondered if I messed something up when I hobbled in front of the sink and washed that coffee pot.  No!  I couldn’t have, I didn’t put any weight on it because it hurt when the “walking boot” bumped up against the counter.  I finally found a short article by someone who said Day 2 and 3 was the worst.  I said some prayers, asked for strength and patience and went back to sleep.

Day 2 – This day the pain will be the worst.  Don’t put any weight at all on your foot.  Keep it elevated and follow your doctor’s orders.  Take your pain medication only as directed.  Take your antibiotics as directed.  Drink plenty of water.  Yes, this means you will have to get up more often.  When you get up, your leg is lowered and it hurts.  It throbs.  You will get used to it… kinda.  Day 2 only lasts 24 hours.  Say some more prayers.  The Lord is good.  Count your blessings.

Day 3 – On this day, I started trying to wean myself back from the pain pills a little.  I tried to only take one at a time – unlike day 2.  And I tried to go at least 5 hours before taking another one – also unlike day 2.  Once I even made it 7 hours.   My foot was slowly feeling better!  Okay, okay, it was slowly not hurting as much!   Hey, even that was an improvement and an answer to prayer.  Thank you Lord!

Day 4 –  I only took ibuprofen on this day – 2 at a time, every 6 hours.  Not bad.  Now, the foot still ached a little, okay a lot when it was down, but it was not unbearable.  I could tell it was healing.  I continued to try to keep it elevated as much as possible.  I was at work and I had people running errands for me…making me coffee, washing the cup, getting me water…it was kinda cool.  I may keep the boot on for an extra couple of weeks.

Days 5 – 6  These days were much of the same thing with some slight improvements each day.  By day 5 the pain was not nearly as bad though it was still significant whenever my foot was not elevated.  I could actually push my foot against the bottom of the walking cast a little bit without any jabbing pains in the side of my foot.  My leg itself was feeling sore and the bottom of my foot was feeling swollen as well.  Different types of pains were starting to make themselves known.  My sleep at night was still difficult and awkward but I could tell that healing was going on.

Day 7 –  My foot still hurts but not as much.  I visualize a much smaller knife jabbing me from time to time when I lower my foot from off of its perch on the the couch or the desk at work.  Actually, it is bearable to keep it down and work with it down from time to time.  I have done so for 15 minute stretches every couple of hours the last day or two.  I will be so glad when I am fully recovered.  I will also be glad when I don’t have to use these crutches any more… they can wear you out if you have to go any distance at all.  And let me be sure to tell you this, orthopedic injuries and recovery from surgery is painful.  Be patient and understand that it is going to hurt.  You will need some help.

The first week was done and it was a long week.  Before I go let me take a minute to say this…my wife has been awesome during this time!  Let me also add that she has always been awesome….for over the last 30 years that we have been married she has been a blessing to me.  But the last week she has really gone out of her way to take care of me and try to keep me from doing too much.  That alone is a full time job.  But let me say it again, she is awesome!  The Bible says in Proverbs 18:22

Pro 18:22   He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD.

God has shown me His favor by blessing me with such a good wife.  She has been doing double duty this week and still has several weeks to go and hasn’t complained once.  I love her sooo much!  When you go through your surgery and recovery, see if you can get someone to help out for at least the first week.  You will need it as you will need to rest and not put any weight on your foot for at least a couple of weeks.  And when someone helps you tell them thank you.  I have had a lots of people at working getting me coffee and water and running errands for me…the Lord has blessed me, shown me His favor and surrounded me with an awesome family and wonderful friends.  God is so good!  I hope and pray that He will bless you in the same way.

If you have any questions about a similar surgery that you are about to go through or have recently had, please feel free to email me with any questions at


Posted in a torn superior peroneal retinaculum, Being Blessed, Christianity, Church, foot surgery, it is hard to sleep in a walking boot, orthopedic surgery hurts, Proverbs 18:22, recurrent peroneal tendon subluxation, what is recurrent peroneal tendon subluxation, what to expect following peroneal tend surgery, wonderful wife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Prayer for Today

Lord, it’s early in the morning

And I’m still awake,

Thinking about people who are in situations

That are so hard to take.

Friends who have been in and out of the hospital

For such a very long time,

With long roads still before them

And hills they’ve yet to climb.


And this world Lord, it just seems

Like it’s totally falling apart,

No longer do you read about

Occasional shots in the dark,

But hatred and violence abound

In oh so many ways

And evil walks around boldly

In the very light of day.

Some have even sworn to make targets

Of those who serve and protect,

I don’t know what they’re thinking,

Their reason and morals are wrecked.


But Lord I know You are aware

Of all we are going through

And today I ask You to intervene 

Like only You can do.

Send healing to our nation 

And bring peace Lord I pray,

May Your love and righteousness flow, 

Let justice rule the day.


And Lord, comfort your people 

During these troubling times,

Calm our spirits within us 

And ease our hearts and minds.

Help us to minister to those around us, 

Give us the grace to meet their needs, 

And help us offer this world solutions, 

Along with Your love and good deeds.

Posted in A prayer for our nation, Bless those who protect and serve, Church, faith, Healing, Lord bring us peace, poetry, prayer, religion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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