A Visit to the Pinta

On Saturday, our family got to visit a life-sized replica of the Pinta, one of Christopher Columbus’s ships.

Actually, the Pinta was a little larger than life-size to accommodate the height of modern people. We were told the average European then was 5’2″.

Still, our first impression was that the ship was much smaller than we would have thought. And there was no belowdecks. There was a cargo hold, but everyone would have lived and slept on deck. It was hard to fathom a crew of 26 men in that space for as long as they were at sea.

Several placards were placed around the ship with explanations of life on board, Columbus’s route, instruments he used, etc.

There were also several instruments and items like a sword (under glass), a model of the ship, etc.

A couple of volunteers were on board to provide information and answer questions.

We were amused by a couple of anachronistic inclusions. 🙂

I appreciated that nothing was mentioned about anything controversial with Columbus. Those conversations are important, but one can enjoy learning about the ship without agreeing with everything that was done. The ship was presented as a “sailing museum” and was for the purpose of sharing information about history. This type of ship, a caravel, had been in use for a couple of centuries and was a common “workhorse” type of ship, one brochure explained.

It was the first time I had ever been on a “tall ship.” All in all, it was a fun and educational outing.

You can learn more about the Nina and Pinta replicas here and follow their itinerary here.

Whatever happened to these sayings?

I don’t want to be guilty of that bane of older people: considering everything “back in my day” to be superior. No era or society has been perfect since Eden.

Many societal perspectives have improved from what I grew up with. And I love the conveniences, technology, and multiple ways to communicate that we have today. 

But in my youth, I heard certain sayings repeated enough to become truisms. I don’t hear them any more, but I think we need them more than ever.

  • I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” (Evelyn Beatrice Hall). Freedom of speech used to be one of highest values in this country. Now, if you don’t fit within the prevailing narratives, you’re publicly shamed or “canceled.” We’ve gone from absolute truth to the postmodern lack of absolute truth to “My truth is the only truth.”
  • “It takes all kinds to make a world.” That seemed to sum up how people reconciled the fact that others could think so differently from themselves. Along with this one was:
  • “Live and let live.” Most didn’t advocate “anything goes.” There are times to speak out against wrongdoing. But we’re also not made with cookie cutters. We won’t all do and act the exact same way in everything.
  • “Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes.” This encouraged people to consider the background, personality, and perspective of others. Now, people make all sorts of judgments based on a 140-character tweet instead of trying to understand the other person’s viewpoint.
  • “We’ll have to agree to disagree.”This one went around fairly recently, but it’s been quickly forgotten. Now people can’t seem to just disagree on matters large or small without vilifying each other.
  • “Don’t believe everything you read.” A corollary to this was “Just because you see it on TV (or in the newspaper) doesn’t mean it’s true.” Now we tend to believe articles and posts that support our views and disbelieve whatever doesn’t.

Of course, these are limited. They are not Scripture. Some may have exceptions. But they are pretty good common sense, and some are based on Scriptural truth.

What do think? Is it possible to bring these back? Can you think of any others?

(Sharing with InstaEncouragements, Grace and Truth, Senior Salon)

Back at home

Thank you so much for your kind comments yesterday and your prayers while I was in the hospital. I’m back at home now and feeling well. I have follow-up appointments with my primary care doctor and cardiologist soon.

I’m probably going to have to have a second ablation. I can’t tell you how much I hate the thought of going through that again. But I also hate having afib and going to the ER. We’ve known people that were much improved after the second one. So, we’ll see what the doctors say.

Meanwhile, I’m going to mainly relax the rest of the weekend.

Friday’s Fave Five

On Fridays I like to pause for a few moments with Susanne and friends
to reflect on some of the blessings of the week.

Here we are at another Friday, and another opportunity to recount the blessings of the week.

1. A big surprise. One afternoon, Jason texted to ask if he and Timothy could come over after dinner. Mittu had not been feeling well, and I assumed he just wanted to give her a bit of time to herself. When he came in, he handed me a card and gift bag but told me I couldn’t open them yet. I thought that was odd, as it’s not my birthday or any other gift-giving occasion. Then he proceeded to set up a FaceTime call with both Jeremy and Mittu, and then Jesse came in from his room. I wondered what in the world was up.

The package turned out to be an Apple watch that they had all pitched in to get for me. After my last afib episode, they discussed getting me an Apple watch because it has the ability to do an EKG reading and to alert you if your heart goes into an abnormal rhythm.

I was so touched by their thoughtfulness, and sad that I had made them worry.

Jason helped me get the watch set up and showed me the basics, and I’ve explored it more since then. I like it!

2. Flowers from Timothy.

3. Getting my fall decorations up, finally. I almost skipped it—somehow I just wasn’t as into it this year. But I do enjoy them, and I like decorating to some degree with the change in seasons. Once I got started, I got more into it, and I was glad I got them out.

Special thanks also to Jesse, who fetched the boxes down from the attic and put them back again. He joked that after he moves out, whenever he comes to visit I am probably going to ask him to take things to and from the attic for me. He might be right…:)

4. Discount prescription coupons. One of my new prescriptions came from the pharmacy with a note that a manufacturer’s coupon might be available for that medication. We investigated and filled out the information to receive the discount card. When I used it for the refill, it knocked our part of the payment from $60 to $10. It does make you wonder—if the manufacturer is willing to give out these discounts, why don’t they just lower the price by that amount? I don’t know, but I am glad I found out about them.

5. Roast. Jason and Mittu asked us to watch Timothy while they voted. She brought over a roast in the Instant Pot to cook while they were gone, and we all enjoyed it for dinner after they got back. Then she left a bunch of the leftovers with us. Yum!

That’s my week! What’s something good from yours?

In the Hospital

Longtime readers may remember that I had an ablation for atrial fibrillation a few years ago. I’ve had little “blips” of heart irregularity since, which the doctor said was normal. But then last July I had a seven-hour episode. The doctor said we’d keep everything the same for now. Then yesterday I had a 12-13 hour episode. My heart rate was 120-148 beats per minute. The meds they give to lower heart rate also lower blood pressure, so they had to keep that in balance.

Finally my heart rate converted back to normal. They kept me overnight, and I should be going home later today.. We’re talking about why this happened, changes to make, etc. I’m especially thankful they let Jim come in with me.

I have some great things for Friday’s Fave Five! If we get home in time, I’ll try to get a post up. It’s a little hard tapping out a post on an iPad mini. 🙂

But for now we’re doing fine, just hanging out til they release me. Talk to you later!

Update: I’m home! I’m supposed to follow up with my primary care doctor and cardiologist next week. Thanks so much for your kind comments and prayers.

Updated Prayer Request

In May I asked you to pray for Mason, the six-year-old son of our former pastor in GA. He had leukemia, went into remission, came down with cancer again, and at that time was in the PICU with pneumonia and a bleeding lung. He had to be sedated and put on a paralytic drug to give the lung time to heal.

He recovered enough to go off the paralytic and sedation. But because he had been on them so long, he couldn’t walk, had trouble swallowing, and couldn’t talk very loudly. Those things are all slowly improving, though his breathing is still an issue.

The worst news, though, is that the chemo is not helping him. Humanly speaking, his only hope for a cure is a bone marrow transplant. But he would not only have to be in remission to receive it, he would also have to meet several other health criteria. With the chemo only causing harm and not fighting the cancer, the family and doctors made the decision to take Mason off chemo and bring him home for whatever time he has left. They’re still hoping for a miracle, but willing for whatever God wants to do.

I don’t know if there is hope that he could go back on chemo eventually if he gets healthy enough, or if that’s completely off the table since all the types of chemo and even experimental drugs that they’ve tried have not helped.

You can imagine what they are going through. They have other small children as well, one of whom is old enough to understand what’s going on.

One of their main hopes right now is that Mason’s breathing will improve enough that he can remain at home and not have to go back into the hospital. They’ve been at the hospital for so long, with the family separated and visitation limited due to his condition and COVID protocols. They’d love for his remaining time to be at home with all the family together.

I told my pastor’s wife, when I shared this request with her, that, humanly speaking, it would seem like a waste or a defeat to have battled so long with so many people praying, only to end in death rather than healing. I know it’s not, but it feels that way. But, as Amy Carmichael often said, God does not waste His servant’s pain. He has done so much in people’s hearts through this journey already. I wrote last year that heaven is not a lesser answer to prayer.

Still, the family would love for God to heal Mason. I know God understands that. Jesus grieved death when He walked the earth. As we pray and hope for healing, we trust even if that’s not what we get.

I’m sure the family would appreciate your prayers.

Prayer Request

I don’t do this often on the blog, but I’d like to ask you to pray for a little boy named Mason. He’s the grandson of our former pastor in GA. He’s six years old, had leukemia, went into remission, and the cancer came back. He’s been in the hospital and was diagnosed with pneumonia, underwent a lung biopsy, and started bleeding heavily. He’s sedated and on a paralytic drug to help the wound not reopen. The latest word from his grandfather is this:

It has been determined that he has inflammation in 3 of the 4 lobes of his lungs. It is not pneumonia but it is classified as pneumonia and it is found in people who have been through chemotherapy. It makes it difficult for the air sacs in his lungs to absorb oxygen.

We got word this evening that his heart rate and oxygen levels were falling and they were unable to stop it. He was given epinephrine to stimulate his heart and put on nitrous oxide for his oxygen levels. He was also put on an oscillator which is saved for last resorts. It worked for now but they have no tricks left. He is critical but has been stabilized.

The next 24-48 hours are critical. The whole family has been through so much for so long. On top of the health issues, they’ve been separated due to COVID-19. His mom is with him, but the whole family can’t be together.

Thank you for your prayers for Mason and his family.

(Update: Mason’s body is weakening. It’s going to take a miracle for him to survive. His parents are at peace if it’s God’s will to take him home, but of course they long to have more time with him here.)

Two Prayer Requests

I don’t often do this on the blog, but a couple of families we know are experiencing serious needs. They are on my heart this morning, so I thought I’d share them in case some of you might feel led to pray for them.

One is a little boy named Mason who is five—just a little younger than our grandson, Timothy. Mason is the grandson of one of our former pastors in another state. Mason has been battling leukemia for years now. He’s had several rounds of chemo and other drugs. He needs a bone marrow transplant, but he has to be at a certain state of health to receive it. The chemo and other treatments are affecting his liver negatively. There are a lot more details that I have read but don’t have a full grasp of, but, as I understand it, the family is running out of options. Please pray that Mason’s body will get to the place where he can have the transplant he desperately needs. Or that God would heal him without it. A different former pastor used to say that God can heal with medicine, without medicine, or in spite of medicine. Please pray for the family as well. I know from Timothy’s extended stay in the NICU that it takes a toll on everyone in every way when one member is ill and so often in the hospital. Mason has two younger siblings, so care has to be arranged for them and the family is often separated when Mason is in the hospital. I would imagine the parents feel drained sometimes—I would. But they are setting their hope in the Lord and drawing close to Him. I think it’s ok to share the Facebook page set up for him, since it is a public group: Mason’s Road to Recovery.

The second request is somewhat similar: the young adult son (in his early twenties) of one a different former pastor of ours in a different state has also been battling leukemia for years now. Hudson has a year of chemo left but has ended up in the ER several times from the effects of chemo. It has been a real roller coaster ride with improvements or feeling well one day to plummeting symptoms another day. They are drawing close to and depending on the Lord as well.

If you have a moment and feel led, I am sure all involved would appreciate being lifted up in prayer before the throne of God.

Strive together with me in prayer

Laudable Linkage


I have a short list today, but, I think, a good one. Hope you find something useful here.

The War Within: Flesh Versus Spirit. “Conflict in your soul is not all bad. Even though we long for the day when our flesh will be utterly defunct and only pure and loving desires will fill our hearts, yet there is something worse than the war within between flesh and Spirit; namely, no war within because the flesh controls the citadel and all the outposts. Praise God for the war within! Serenity in sin is death. The Spirit has landed to do battle with the flesh. So take heart if your soul feels like a battlefield at times. The sign of whether you are indwelt by the Spirit is not that you have no bad desires, but that you are at war with them!”

Respect the King, Obey the Law, Pay Your Taxes. Sound wisdom no matter who is in office.

Let Not Food Destroy the Body—the body of Christ, HT to Challies. “All too often, our food preferences isolate us from one another. Maybe we catch a friend eating a pre-packaged frozen meal or lunchmeat with nitrates, or watch them open a bag of potato chips filled with preservatives and fat. We are tempted to indulge in food-righteousness, in thinking we’re the better person for eating sprouted grain bread with organic almond butter. Our gospel, however, doesn’t leave room for self-made righteousness.”

Some Men Just Like to Fight, HT to Challies. Women as well. We’re called to contend for some things and defend others. But though “Fighting is sometimes necessary. Liking to fight is not. In fact, it is forbidden.”

Why Procrastination Is about Managing Emotions, not Time, HT to Challies. Interesting perspective and a tip or two for dealing with it.

The Medications that Change Who We Are, HT to Challies. Many ordinary medications have effects on personality. Scary!

Dear Memaw: A Letter I Wish My Great-Grandmother Could Read, HT to Challies. “I wish I could tell you about your piano, Memaw. It is quite the story. But since I can’t tell you, I tell Him, each day, and thank Him for it.”

This kids’ retelling of The Princess Bride had me chuckling. HT to The Story Warren.

Happy Saturday!