Friday, May 14, 2010

For You alone I want to live

I can't do anything
I can't do anything without You
But You can do everything
You can do everything You want
I just can't believe
I can't believe that You would love me
After everything
After everything I've done
And I want to love You
Love You more than life itself
And I want to hold You
Even though You can't be held
Because You're so much more
Than everything I've ever known
Anything, anything
I'd give anything
I would give anything to hold You
I want to live for You
For You alone I want to live
When I see Your face
I would do anything to know You
You gave everything
You gave all You have to give
Halle, hallelujah
Halle, hallelujah
Halle, hallelujah

-Third Day: Anything

Friday, December 25, 2009

The True Story of Rudolph

A man named Bob May, depressed and brokenhearted, stared out his drafty apartment window into the chilling December night. His 4-year-old daughter Barbara sat on his lap quietly sobbing. Bobs wife, Evelyn, was dying of cancer.
Little Barbara couldn't understand why her mommy could never come home. Barbara looked up into her dad's eyes and asked, "Why isn't Mommy just like everybody else's Mommy?" Bob's jaw tightened and his eyes welled with tears. Her question brought waves of grief, but also of anger. It had been the story of Bob's life. When he was a kid, Bob was often bullied by other boys. He was too little at the time to compete in sports. He was often called names he'd rather not remember.
From childhood, Bob was different and never seemed to fit in. Bob did complete college, married his loving wife and was grateful to get his job as a copywriter at Montgomery Ward during the Great Depression. Then he was blessed with his little girl. But it was all short-lived. Evelyn's bout with cancer stripped them of all their savings and now Bob and his daughter were forced to live in a two-room apartment in the Chicago slums. Evelyn died just days before Christmas in 1938.
Bob struggled to give hope to his child, for whom he couldn't even afford to buy a Christmas gift. But if he couldn't buy a gift, he was determined a make one - a storybook! Bob had created an animal character in his own mind and told the animal's story to little Barbara to give her comfort and hope.
Again and again Bob told the story, embellishing it more with each telling. Who was the character? What was the story all about? The story Bob May created was his own autobiography in fable form. The character he created was a misfit outcast like he was. The name of the character? A little reindeer named Rudolph, with a big shiny nose. Bob finished the book just in time to give it to his little girl on Christmas Day. But the story doesn't end there.
The general manager of Montgomery Ward caught wind of the little storybook and offered Bob May a nominal fee to purchase the rights to print the book. Wards went on to print - Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - and distribute it to children visiting Santa Claus in their stores. By 1946 Wards had printed and distributed more than six million copies of Rudolph. That same year, a major publisher wanted to purchase the rights from Wards to print an updated version of the book.
In an unprecedented gesture of kindness, the CEO of Ward returned all rights back to Bob May. The book became a best seller. Many toy and marketing deals followed and Bob May, now remarried with a growing family, became wealthy from the story he created to comfort his grieving daughter. But the story doesn't end there either.
Bob's brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, made a song adaptation to Rudolph. Though the song was turned down by such popular vocalists as Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore, it was recorded by the singing cowboy, Gene Autry. "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" was released in 1949 and became a phenomenal success, selling more records than any other Christmas song, with the exception of "White Christmas."
The gift of love that Bob May created for his daughter so long ago kept on returning back to bless him again and again. And Bob May learned the lesson, just like his dear friend Rudolph, that being different isn't so bad. In fact, being different can be a blessing.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


"I've been a Christian for about 30 years now, but had been leading a pretty dry walk for much of the time. Five years ago, my husband was diagnosed with colon cancer. While I did rely on God to get us thru the stress of that, still, my walk was dry. Praise God, my husband is clean and cancer free.

Four years ago, at age 46 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Needless to say, I turned to God. What a legacy to leave my teenaged children, both parents having cancer. Just after my surgery, but before I began chemotherapy, I purchased your "Kutless" CD for my son, strictly on a lark. I saw that you were a local band so I gave it a shot.

Erik played the CD one night and while I was sitting at the kitchen table working a puzzle, "Run" came on. Like a knife it stabbed my heart! The visual effect it had on my imagination was heartbreaking. Jesus was calling out to me to come back to him in a way I had never thought of. I knew that God wanted ALL of me.

Sobbing, I got up from the table and went to my bedroom where I got face down on the floor [for the first time] and asked God to forgive my apathy. I poured out all my cares, fears and sin to Him. It was at that point that I discovered a peace that surpasses all understanding [Phillipians 4:7]. I can honestly say I am happy cancer came into our lifes because it, along with your beautiful lyrics, led me back to my Savior. Thru your song, our family rededicated our life to Jesus and are active in youth ministry. My son is leaving for Multnomah Bible College in a few days with a goal of becoming a missionary. God used your music mightily in our home!

Fast forward 3.5 years and my Dad became gravely ill. I drove from Portland to California to be with him. After two weeks, he came home in stable but guarded condition. My sister and I did not know whether my Dad knew Jesus, but in the flurry of caring for him at home, juggling the nurses and his medical needs, we never asked.

Eventually, I drove back home to Portland and popped in your "Sea Of Faces" CD. I heard "It's Like Me" for the first time. Again, I began sobbing. How on earth could I have let time pass with my Dad and NOT talk to him about Jesus? Once again, God used your lyrics to motivate me to do His work.

Upon arriving home, I called my sister and told her I was coming down very soon and to keep me up to date by the hour of my Dad's condition. Within a few days I was back in California and at my Dad's side. One morning I asked if I could read the bible to him. Eventually, I asked him if he had accepted Jesus as his Savior. He hadn't but was willing. My sister and I prayed with him at that point and he accepted Jesus as his Savior! God used "It's Like Me" to NOT allow any more time to pass before talking with my Dad. It continues to be an inspiration to me to witness for Jesus.

Guys, so many of your songs convict and inspire me and my family. We've been to four of your concerts and never cease to be inspired by you. I pray that God continues to use you mightily in the years to come. Many blessings to you and your family. Please tell them we appreciate the sacrifices they are making so we can hear you beautiful music. "

Cynthia - Portland, OR

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I like to spin when it is wet or cold outside

Spent an intense hour on the spin bike again today! My exercise song list:

1) Underworld - Cowgirl
2) Michael Jackson - Billie Jean
3) Lady GaGa - Just Dance
4) Rihanna - Don't stop the music
5) Pepe - Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001)
6) Thousand Foot Crutch - The art of breaking
7) Usher - Yeah!
8) Will Smith - Summertime
9) Zombie Nation - Kerncraft 400
10) Skillet - Hero
11) Plumb - Cut (Bronleewe and Bose club mix)
12) Massive Attack - Teardrop
56:27 total seat time~

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Challenge

In our church today we talked about sharing Christ and serving others. We spoke of the many different ways do do this (verbally, with actions, by sacrificing your time/resources to help those in need, etc). The theme of the sermon was "Each one should use whatever gift[s] he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms." Near the end of the service a gauntlet was laid down. Everyone in attendance was give a sum of Monday (I got $20) that was donated by an anonymous person. The purpose of the money was to to use to bless someone else and live out the sermon, instead of just listening, walking away, and forgetting.

The challenge is to use the money to bless someone else while following these guidelines:
  • You cannot just give the money back to the Church
  • You cannot use the money to serve yourself or your immediate family
  • It must be Christ honoring
  • You should try to avoid just handing the cash to someone but instead use it as a vehicle to do more than that
  • It should be spirit led

SO, my question to you is this. If you were given an amount of money, say $20, and you had to use it to bless someone outside your immediate family, how would you use it?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Jacob Turns Two

Our little man, who is currently madly in love with Trains of all types, just turned two. Click on the link above to see a few pictures from his special day. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

2009 San Jose Sharks Teal & White Game

A few days ago Nicole and I went to the Sharks Teal and White game. They let me bring in the big camera and we sat on the seventh row right at the red line. It was a lot of fun. Here are some of the pictures I took:

Why I Forward Jokes

I personally do not foreword jokes, but someone I care about very much does, and sent me this today. I found it very true and touching, so I thought I'd share:

This explains why I forward jokes:

A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead.

He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them.

After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight.

When he was standing before it he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold. He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side. When he was close enough, he called out, 'Excuse me, where are we?'

'This is Heaven, sir,' the man answered. 'Wow! Would you happen to have some water?' the man asked.

Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up. 'The man gestured, and the gate began to open.

'Can my friend,' gesturing toward his dog, 'come in, too?' the traveler asked.
'I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets.'
The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog.

After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence.
As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book..

'Excuse me!' he called to the man. 'Do you have any water?'
'Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there, come on in.'
'How about my friend here?' the traveler gestured to the dog. 'There should be a bowl by the pump.'
They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it.

The traveler filled the water bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog.

When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree.
'What do you call this place?' the traveler asked.

'This is Heaven,' he answered.
'Well, that's confusing,' the traveler said. 'The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.'

'Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That's hell.'

'Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?'

'No, we're just happy that they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind.'
Soooo.... Sometimes, we wonder why friends keep forwarding jokes to us without writing a word.

Maybe this will explain.

When you are very busy, but still want to keep in touch, guess what you do? You forward jokes.
When you have nothing to say, but still want to keep contact, you forward jokes.
When you have something to say, but don't know what, and don't know how, you forward jokes.

Also to let you know that you are still remembered, you are still important, you are still cared for, guess what you get?...............A forwarded joke

So, next time if you get a joke, from me, don't think that you've been sent just another forwarded joke, but that you've been thought of today and your friend on the other end of your computer wanted to send you a smile..
You are all welcome at my water bowl anytime!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

New Desktop Background

Just made the adorable pic of Little Man my new desktop background:

Monday, May 11, 2009

Madison Drives a Train

Madison and I in the engineer's chair of UP 4971 during our recent camping trip to the Feather River Canyon:

During our recent trip to the Feather River canyon, we spent a night at Pulga.  Early in the morning a Westbound train that was stopping for a meet stopped right by our truck!  We took a walk over to wave to the crew and to our delight they invited us on board.  As it was early in the morning I was holding my cup of coffee and didn't have have a camera with me, but the engineer had his . . .

The very friendly engineer and conductor let us climb aboard for a short minute and even let Madison honk the horn.  She didn't really get to drive the train, but it was very exciting none the less.  She even got a farewell gift from these two great guys - a UPRR standard issue yellow lantern.

It was the highlight of our trip!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Isaiah 65:24

This beautiful story was written by a doctor who worked in South Africa:

One night I had worked hard to help a mother in the labor ward; but in spite of all we could do, she died, leaving us with a tiny, premature baby and a crying two-year-old daughter. We would have difficulty keeping the baby alive, as we had no incubator (we had no electricity to run an incubator)..


We also had no special feeding facilities.


Although we lived on the equator, nights were often chilly with treacherous drafts. One student midwife went for the box we had for such babies and the cotton wool that the baby would be wrapped in.


Another went to stoke up the fire and fill a hot water bottle. She came back shortly in distress to tell me that in filling the bottle, it had burst (rubber perishes easily in tropical climates).


'And it is our last hot water bottle!' she exclaimed. As in the West, it is no good crying over spilled milk, so in Central Africa it might be considered no good crying over burst water bottles.


They do not grow on trees, and there are no drugstores down forest pathways.


'All right,' I said, 'put the baby as near the fire as you safely can, and sleep between the baby and the door to keep it free from drafts Your job is to keep the baby warm.'


The following noon, as I did most days, I went to have prayers with any of the orphanage children who chose to gather with me. I gave the youngsters various suggestions of things to pray about and told them about the tiny baby. I explained our problem about keeping the baby warm enough,mentioning the hot water bottle, and that the baby could so easily die if it got chills. I also told them of the two-year-old sister, crying because her mother had died.


During prayer time, one ten-year-old girl, Ruth, prayed with the usual blunt conciseness of our African children. 'Please, God' she prayed, 'Send us a hot water bottle today. It'll be no good tomorrow, God, as the baby will be dead, so please send it this afternoon.'


While I gasped inwardly at the audacity of the prayer, she added, 'And while You are about it, would You please send a dolly for the little girl so she'll know You really love her?'


As often with children's prayers, I was put on the spot. Could I honestly say 'Amen?' I just did not believe that God could do this.


Oh, yes, I know that He can do everything; the Bible says so. But there are limits, aren't there? The only way God could answer this particular prayer would be by sending me a parcel from the homeland. I had been in Africa for almost four years at that time, and I had never, ever, received a parcel from home.


Anyway, if anyone did send me a parcel, who would put in a hot water bottle? I lived on the equator!


Halfway through the afternoon, while I was teaching in the nurses' training school, a message was sent that there was a car at my front door. By the time I reached home, the car had gone, but there on the verandah was a large 22-pound parcel. I felt tears pricking my eyes. I could not open the parcel alone, so I sent for the orphanage children. Together we pulled off the string, carefully undoing each knot. We folded the paper, taking care not to tear it unduly. Excitement was mounting. Some thirty or forty pairs of eyes were focused on the large cardboard box.


From the top, I lifted out brightly-colored, knitted jerseys. Eyes sparkled as I gave them out. Then there were the knitted bandages for the leprosy patients, and the children looked a little bored. Then came a box of mixed raisins and sultanas - that would make

a batch of buns for the weekend.


Then, as I put my hand in again, I felt the.....could it really be?

I grasped it and pulled it out.. Yes, a brand new, rubber hot water bottle. I cried.


I had not asked God to send it; I had not truly believed that He could.


Ruth was in the front row of the children. She rushed forward, crying out, 'If God has sent the bottle, He must have sent the dolly, too!'


Rummaging down to the bottom of the box, she pulled out the small, beautifully-dressed dolly. Her eyes shone! She had never doubted!


Looking up at me, she asked, 'Can I go over with you and give this dolly to that little girl, so she'll know that Jesus really loves her?'


'Of course,' I replied!


That parcel had been on the way for five whole months, packed up by my former Sunday school class, whose leader had heard and obeyed God's prompting to send a hot water bottle, even to the equator.


And one of the girls had put in a dolly for an African child - five months before, in answer to the believing prayer of a ten-year-old to bring it 'that afternoon.'


'Before they call, I will answer.' (Isaiah 65:24)


When you receive this, say the prayer. That's all you have to do. No strings attached. Just send it on to whomever you want - but do send it on..


Prayer is one of the best free gifts we receive. There is no cost, but a lot of rewards. Let's continue praying for one another.


This awesome prayer takes less than a minute.


Heavenly Father, I ask you to bless my friends reading this. I ask You to minister to their spirit. Where there is pain, give them Your peace and mercy. Where there is self doubting, release a renewed confidence to work through them. Where there is tiredness or exhaustion, I ask You to give them understanding, guidance, and strength. Where there is fear, reveal our love and release to them Your courage. Bless their finances, give them greater vision, and raise up leaders and friends to support and encourage them. Give each of them discernment to recognize the evil forces around them and reveal to them the power they have in You to defeat it. I ask You to do these things in Jesus' name. Amen


P. S. Passing this on to anyone you consider a friend will bless you both. Passing this on to one not considered a friend is something Christ would do.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

From my Business Ethics Class:

Ethics vs Morality November/December 1999 Vol 17 No 11/12
We are proud to publish the following beautifully written article about dilemmas for community pharmacists written by Raj Vaidya, a community pharmacist in Goa, India. [edited for length – L. Bernasconi]

Raj Vaidya M.Pharm., Community Pharmacist, Hindu Pharmacy,P.B.No. 149, Panaji - Goa - India 403001

I am a community pharmacist, and there are a lot of obstructions and dilemmas which come to mind, as I stand at my pharmacy counter and serve patients – with or without a prescription. And the thoughts continue when I lay down to rest in my bed.

I am bound by certain Ethics laid down by my pharmaceutical association, which I proudly hung in my cabin when I graduated and began my practice of pharmacy.

I am also bound by certain Morals which I follow, and sometimes do not. My conscience bites me every time I do not. When laid down Ethics cross swords with Morals, I am at a loss…

I) People read and see the widely advertised claims for so called Ayurvedic medicines for stress, diabetes, sex-tonics, energisers, slimming, building body weight, and so on. Do I tell the patient the truth that these are more of selling gimmicks than health care? That the advertisements care more for the companies’ pocket than his health?

1. If I don’t tell – the patient buys, and I am monetarily satisfied. Morally, I am not satisfied – My Apron, the label on it and my Pharmacy degree have failed. Morality has failed.

2. If I tell him:
a. If he believes me – I lose my business (accepted) – but the percentage of such clients is very low.
b. If he does not believe me – I am half happy, half sad – I know I tried in his best interest (happy), but he did not listen (sad).

Ethics take a beating amidst the tall claims made by advertisers, who mesmerize the public into buying products they should not have!

II) Lately, there are attempts to convert some drugs into the OTC [Over-The Counter] category.

• Vitamins – People will ask me, which vitamins are good and I will say that good nutritious food is the best, and that no textbook recommends multivitamin preparations. Patient is not ready to believe this. He is hyped by the tall claims of vitamins – and the pharmacist has failed again.

• Cough syrups – the most common cough syrups contain a cough suppressant as well as an expectorant. Which way do we want the cough to go? In or out? This is an irrational combination. My morality says I should not recommend it to the patient. Instead of banning it, there seem to be plans to make it OTC. Unfortunately, people are more influenced by advertisements – they will buy it, even if I say that it is not recommended. How can that be? What is advertised, and so famous, and on everyone’s lips (however irrational or useless it may be) – it has to be GOOD!. Marketing Ethics have come crashing down!

III) Polypharmacy : What do I do if I get a prescription containing 10 drugs? Ethics say that I do not tell the patient that the prescription is irrational, because I have to respect the doctor’s decision to prescribe so many drugs – "He must have prescribed because he felt that the patient needs them!"

Morally, I know that this is an irrational prescription, and I had better tell the patient that you do not need most of the prescribed drugs – they do not fit into the WHO’s Essential Drugs List, nor in our National Essential Drugs List (list is made but kept in the shelves). I know what is Rational Drug Therapy, but what do I do? What do I follow? Ethics or Morality? Can anyone answer me?

I know the doctor has [probably] prescribed 10 drugs for various reasons :
a. He seriously believes he is doing the patient good, and that he needs all those medications.
b. He wants the patient to believe that he is a good doctor because he has prescribed so many medicines.
c. He has to oblige the pharmaceutical companies, for they have been giving him gifts and samples, sponsored his airfare for a conference or holiday, and what not..
d. I find it difficult to find any fourth possible reason.

Putting the 10 drugs in an ADR and DI format – I find that there are MANY possible Drug Interactions and Adverse Drug Reactions. Do I have to report to the patient, or the doctor? The patient will be scared of the ADRs, not take the medicines, lose faith in the doctor, and the doctor will come catching my throat for disrupting the prescription and creating discomfort. Will the doctor begin prescribing only two or three drugs henceforth, if I point out the Drug Interactions to him? Should I take the bold decision of telling the doctor about this – every time? Or should I leave it to professional organisations of doctors and pharmacists? (and hope it happens soon)

What advice to give?
• What do I do when a patient comes to me insisting for an antibiotic for a cough and throat infection, and says that he does not want to go to a doctor for various reasons (primarily high fees)? Ethics will say – advise him to go to a doctor with the statement "I am not authorized to give you an antibiotic without a prescription". The patient will then go to a nearby doctor, pay Rs. 50 as fees (sometime Rs. 100, 150), be prescribed nothing less than Ciprofloxacin, or Sparfloxacin, or Cefadroxil without a swab, culture and a sensitivity test, some dextromethorpan lozenges, an irrational cough syrup, an anti-oxidant (Rs. 3 per capsule) and possibly a multivitamin / B.Complex tab or a "Tonic" (Rs. 50 – 60). And the patient would then come to me, but not have sufficient money, so he would buy the tonic, but only few of the antibiotics, and probably not come back for the remaining.

Would it have been better then if I myself had examined the throat of the patient with a torch, and for a suspected infection given the patient a 6 day course of Amoxycillin, along with warm salt water gargles, a little rest, steam inhalations, a request to drink warm water in large quantities, so as to liquefy the cough/sputum and help in its expulsion? And if necessary to take a home remedy of lime juice, ginger mixed in honey? And taken no fees? How much the patient could have saved in terms of money, less dose of toxic drugs, an affordable full course of antibiotic…? Well that was morality! Unfortunately, I have to follow Ethics and not Morals!

Imagine the pity that comes across my heart when the doctor prescribes Ceftibuten suspension (costing Rs. 350), for a child, without a sensitivity test, and without trying out lower antibiotics, just because the medical representative had visited the doctor and requested him to liquidate the stock because the expiry date was the end of the month! How can I be a party to this? Legally, and ethically, I can – but then, where is Morality gone?

Well, I certainly am in a dilemma. I wonder whether to proudly call myself a pharmacist or not? When all I see around me (and through my own hands too..) is booming sales of non-essential drugs, new costly molecules (with no specific advantages) being launched and promoted with extravagant marketing policies and expenses. No proper clinical trials and post-marketing surveillance…

When I talk to Product Managers, they say they know only one thing "Sell and only sell – Targets", and health of the people takes a back seat!

Sometimes I feel it is better to be ignorant of all the above jargon. Better to be an ordinary Diploma in Pharmacy, forget all the counselling and clinical pharmacy. Give what the patient wants, and the doctor prescribes. How much of ethics and morals should i follow, if being completely ethical and moral will stop bread and butter for my family! This profession in India has no place for people like me. Is it better if I quit the profession and start a grocery? I will be at peace at least with my mind!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Evidence of the Impossible

Consider these facts:

•8 prophecies met in one person
•1 x 10^17or less than 1 in a quadrillion
•If spread over the state of Texas, this many silver dollars would stand two feet deep. If we marked one with an X, stirred the whole mass thoroughly, blindfolded a man, and gave him one chance to pick the right one across the whole state, this is his chance of picking the one with the X.

May you be blessed this Christmas!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Search me, Know me

Search me, know me
Try me and see
Every worthless affection hidden in me
All I'm asking for is that You'd cleanse me, Lord

Create in me a heart that's clean
Conquer the power of secret shame
Come wash away the guilty stain of all my sin

Clothe me in robes of righteousness
Cover my nakedness with grace
All of my life before You now I humbly bring

Friday, November 28, 2008

I like Hockey

Sharks Win another one. They are currently 19-3-1. That is just INSANE!!! It was especially sweet tonight as they chased Marty 'Turdco' from the net. Way to go Sharks!