A new thing on my list of things I hope never to experience again!

Apparently, I have a congenital condition that leads to premature receding of the gums, despite meticulous oral hygene habits.  So last week, I had a gum graft. Before he started, the Periodontist asked me if I had any questions. “Nope?”, I said, ” the less I know, the better”. I should have asked to be sedated. Ugh. I had novacaine, of course, but even when I was still working as an RN, there was one thing that bothered me more than the sights and smells that would turn most stomachs. I could never handle the sounds. Snipping of flesh, cracking of bone. I don’t even do well with finger popping.

Do you know what a wood planer is? How about a cheese grater? The donor site is the roof of the mouth. Yeah. No pain with the novacaine, of course, but psychologically it was a little PTSD-ish.

Soft bland diet going on 2 weeks. They made an impression mold of my entire palate and upper teeth, from which they created a thin-shell shield to put in, clicks on over my teeth and palate, that keeps the tongue and soft-diet foods from contacting the raw donor site, but I had a new crown applied in the months between my initial consult and the actual procedure, and so the shield isn’t real comfortable either.

The doc and his nurses and staff are super nice. He even called at 7 pm to check on me. But I will be so glad when the donor site heals. He said in another week I should be able to tolerate my normal toothbrush as opposed to the supersoft one they gave me, so I hope that means the pain will be gone.

Had I known sedation was an option, I would have requested it. They did give me prescription strength Ibuprofin, which has some sedating effects for me, so I did ok, but now that I know what it’s like, if I ever had to have it again, I would anticipate it with more dread. I know me. Praise God for analgesics and anesthetics!

Mom has progressed to some steps with her walker, and I confirmed with the dialysis nurse that her renal doctor still holds out hope that dialysis will not be permanent, and there are some encouraging signs in her output as well as labwork!

I am thankful to have dodged most of the snow, at least on travel days, with all the trips to WV.

I hope everybody is doing ok out there with all that is going on, and that spiritually and psychologically you are pressing into the Lord, His Word, and limiting your exposure to all the distressing news. It is not in my nature to avoid reality, but nowadays, reality is increasingly harsh and I have had to start thinking really in terms of my own immediate reality, and only skim through headlines and watch vids of others who are watching for the return of Jesus. I avoid the secular sites other than an occasional glance at conservative news sites like Breitbart, American Thinker, and I keep a detached watch on major congressional and court issues only in terms of gaging what may be coming down the pike.

Our youngest son is back on American soil from the Middle East, though to assume that makes him safer, would be unrealistic, especially considering his base is West Coast. He will have some leave time soon and come home, so I look forward to seeing him, and getting to see him meet his baby nephew! I hope I can work it out to be home for that! All depends when my Mom goes home. She’s gonna need a lot of help.

Here’s my current project:

Repurposing yard signs from the VA midterm campain, into a witness and warning. Our side street is a pretty busy road. So these are front and back, so the message will be visible to cars going both directions, and like the old burmashave signs, it will be continued on the next sign.

Is it just me, or does it feel like the world is holding it’s collective breath right now? There is an eerie stillness in the air, a shift in the energy around us, like right before a hurricaine. An “impending” of some kind.

I mean, people have been screeching for over a decade about economic collapse, the Great Reset, the next biothreat, war, and we know all of the above are coming. I still hold onto the fact that as the rapture is sudden, and so is the sudden destruction, that we will go up just as the chaos erupts. A lot of prophecy people have stopped talking quite as much about “rapture soon” and started talking about the fact they never expected to see so much of what we have seen and are seeing prior to the rapture. That’s no reason to get discouraged. The global scope of the “crazy” is enough to assure us mankind is at a place we have never been since the flood, tower of Babel and Sodom and Gomorrah. No matter what we might face, all the bridges to ” going back” are already burnt. There is no way to go but forward.

I don’t know if you have ever been through something in which all options, all choice, all power has been completely taken out of your hands. Sounds terrifying, right? But here’s a little known secret. If you are born again of the Spirit, you will discover a surprising, dare I say even delightful truth in that circumstance. It is the ultimate freedom. What’s more, I suspect that all our power, choice, and choices don’t have to be stripped in order to experience this freedom. I think we can choose to surrender them. This is a control freak speaking. I have absolutely no, I mean zero  natural “go with the flow” in me. The Lord has had to strip away a lot from me, in order to get me to see that He doesn’t require me to figure it all out on my own. He will let me, if I insist. And I do that to myself a lot, but I catch myself faster than I used to, and hit the brakes.

It takes a lifetime for most of us. I spent time listening to the stories of some of the great missionaries and preachers of the 19th and 20th centuries this past week. I had “ambitions” to be a missionary when I was a teen. But I look back over the years, and I look at the humility and selflessness and dedication of those great missionaries and preachers, and I see how far I was from the kind of understanding of God they had early in their lives. I didn’t understand grace, and I didn’t understand holiness and guilt. When I walked the aisle at the age of 9 to the front of my church during an evangelistic crusade to “ask Jesus into my heart” I don’t remember conviction. It was more like I was signing up to be good. I don’t remember the preacher’s wife talking to me about sin. I remember she showed me verses in the Bible, John 3:16 for sure, but the emphasis of both the  evangelist’s message, and what the preacher’s wife said to me, to the best of my recollection, was on “do you want to go to heaven some day“, not “do you know you are condemned to hell?

It was not until I was 27, divorced, remarried and the second one had left me, that I truly understood the “wages of sin”, and cried out to God in repentance and asking for mercy and grace. Was I saved at 9? I am sure if I took a poll of fellow believers, there’d be plenty whose opinions would land on either side. From 9-19 I thought I was a Christian, then I got really mad at God about things that happened (and things that didn’t happen) between age 17-19. I didn’t talk to Him about it. Not really. I was extremely disillusioned, and took an attitude of “what good is it to try and live right and follow God if He doesn’t even honor my aspirations to serve Him?” I wanted to date a Christian, He didn’t send one, I wanted to go to a Christian College, He allowed my Dad to quash that, I wanted to go to the mission field, but without any training, that wasn’t likely.  I thought I was called.

What I think is that God saw my heart at 9, and He took that childlike move in His direction as “earnest”, and I mean that in the fiscal sense of the word. I didn’t have the whole understanding yet. I didn’t grasp the guilt/depravity/repentance aspect of salvation, but He knew I eventually would.

I thought I was saved at 9. At 22,  I remember saying to someone who tried to witness to me, “I used to be a Christian”. That was still early in the disappointed/disillusioned period. But at 27 when I hit the bottom, and cried out to God, fully cognizant of my sinfulness, penitant and sorrowful, and He forgave and accepted my plea, that is when I knew I was truly His. Redeemed. Bought and paid for.

Can we get saved without first understanding we are sinners? No. Law first, then grace. Without law, there’s no transgression of law. The law is a “schoolmaster”.  The law was given to show us that we have a rebellious nature. God knows we can’t keep the law. We are the idiots who think we can. In my early life, whether I consciously thought it or not, I expected things from God that had arisen from my iwn presumptions, not a true understanding of Him or His nature.

We want our own righteousness. (And a lot of people have their “own righteousness”, but it isn’t going to get them into heaven). The problem is, it doesn’t meet the standard of God’s holiness which is perfect, pure. The only source from which we can obtain God’s perfect standard of holiness is to have the perfect holiness of Christ imputed to us by faith in the sacrifice provided by grace: that is, the shedding of His blood on the cross, where He bore the sins of the world.

So we lift Him up. He is the way, the truth and the life. None of us deserve mercy. He gives it because He is merciful.

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