Tuesday, October 27, 2009

No Longer My Trusted Source...

…for news. OK, I can’t claim to have surrendered absolute, implicit trust here to begin with; but I have made a near-daily habit of checking www.cnn.com for my news. I have not been so na├»ve as to presume I read news coverage that even purports to be objective anymore.

Afterall, it was the Previous Century when I was in “J-School”, pursuing a degree in news-editorial journalism. Back In the Day, “lack of bias” and objectivity were actual concepts taught in my reporting classes. Even in the “Opinions Writing” course, we were regularly admonished to build our perspective on a foundation devoid of any ‘slant.’ These values have gone the way of the IBM Selectric and clattering AP wire machine.

Still, I can’t say I was prepared to log on this afternoon and see “The Abortionist and His #1 Foe” front and center on the CNN home page. I got through about three-quarters of the story before I had to look away. The abortion issue itself, the vast and vile social permutations, the sound and fury billowing out of the Reader Comment section—all are old news. [Clearly, the consequent human devastation of men, women, and children touched by abortion is not diminished just because the US is in its fourth decade of “choice.” ]

Even the pro-abortion bias that characterizes the vast majority of mainstream media coverage of this issue is old news. So why do I take note of it here?

I think because this story seemed, to me, to exhibit a new level of flagrancy. Wayne Drash, whose byline appears at the top of this story, managed to sneak in a shot to my emotional solar plexus. For a moment, a wave of despair and futility lapped around the edges of my mind. Evil and annihilation just seem to go on and on and on until it feels hard to take a breath.

Then the needed moment of insight arrived, fresh from the only Source:

“When I tried to understand all this,
It was oppressive to me
Till I entered the sanctuary of God;
Then I understood their final destiny.” [Psalm l 73:16-17]

“He who is pregnant with evil…falls into the pit he has made. The trouble he causes recoils on himself; his violence comes down on his own head.” [Psalm 7: 14-16, selected]

The answer is to look up and remember that the final righteous reckoning is still to come. Make no mistake.

According to the CNN story, both Dr. Carhart, the ‘heroic’ abortionist, and Mr. Newman, a not-winsomely-portrayed pro-life activist, claim that “God is on their side.” This is completely inverted.

Anyone who has even a pale conception of Who God really is would not dare to make such a claim. I don’t know who they mean by ‘god’, but He Who made the heavens and the earth, and before Whom every knee will one day bow, does not settle down on anyone’s team bench. How much less does He grant favor to those who willfully destroy precious eternal beings?

No, the truth is both awesome and awful: every one of us will stand before Him to give account of ourselves as our earthly life expires.

Dr. Carhart still has a chance to make a 180-degree turn in his life and escape the condemnation that he--and we all--deserve, apart from Christ. And Mr. Newman still has a chance to evaluate his words, attitudes, and actions against the Jesus Whose name he invokes.

But those chances, too, will come to an end. Until then, we who belong to Christ can know unswervingly that God’s perfect justice and mercy are definitive and sure.

None of us ‘gets away’ with anything, unless we surrender to Him.

And I have no doubt we would turn away in horror if we were to see the “the final destiny” of those who do not.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Miss Cee’s School of Subtle Social Insinuation

Greetings, Gentle Readers!

It has come to my attention that concern has been voiced in some distant quarters about the relative infrequency of my appearances on this blog of late. Please accept my abject apologies for this shocking lapse! Upon careful reflection, it became suddenly clear to me how disturbing this inconsistency must be to my loyal following. Mea culpa!

To remedy this egregious irresponsibility to you, my audience, I offer the following:
Today’s installment features a Unique and Incisive Perspective on how best to capitalize on Opportunities at Sporting Events. You read that correctly. You may rely on me to expand your horizons whenever possible!

I must note that this enterprise requires that you be on—at least—nodding-acquaintance terms with an Actual Athlete. Hangers-on will not do since, technically, you yourself could be placed in this category. Being a Hanger-on of a Hanger-on is too far removed from the action to hold any promise of real success. If you do not know a genuine athlete, it is the better part of wisdom to abandon this endeavor and pursue another avenue of adventure.

In the interest of full disclosure, I must note that this particular assignment most often involves long and arduous journeys to abandoned wagon train trails and ancient farmlands, which are quaintly referred to as Competition Venues. Trust my experience on this, dear readers: this is not a point over which to quibble. If THEY say it’s a venue, take it at face value—this is a non-negotiable aspect of spectator sports, apparently.

I found myself doubly fortunate this morning, as I knew –not one- but two! athletes: both my older brother and sister were slated for today’s High School Cross-Country Regionals competition, held at Fuller Forest Preserve, in Winnebago, Illinois. Judging by the terrain and travel time and acres of corn, this is apparently quite near the Iowa state line. But I digress.

When you arrive at your destination, do not be too ruffled if you are required to hold the hand of a Bona Fide Adult. This happens, even to me, at my now-advanced age. Bide your time, readers, knowing that adult attention is easily deflected. Before you know it, you will be able to surreptitiously slide your digits out of the elderly paw, and you will be “off to the races,” [pun intended].

Once free of your ‘adult keeper,’ carefully but nonchalantly get to know ‘the lay of the land.’ In today’s case, this involved a long, serpentine mud trail, apparently abandoned by swine and euphemistically known as The Course. Just play along with such general misapprehensions…they are not relevant to our ultimate goal.
In many cases, you will find the countryside peppered with square nylon structures of assorted hues; these are the Team Tents.

While I’ve heard of more reckless parties attempting to penetrate team tents of rival teams, I consider this unnecessarily risky. For one thing, since you are entirely unknown to any occupants of these tents, you will stick out like a sore thumb. In addition, if you wander too far afield, there is always the nasty possibility of Getting Lost, which truly ruins all the fun.

For you further edification and inspiration, I now offer an account of my own adventure this morning:

After arriving and parking several hundred miles away from The Course, we literally followed the herd and eventually found ourselves in view of the team pavilions [fancy talk for ‘tents’—this term is used by the Uppity Schools, which shall remain nameless}.

Once there, I easily identified our team’s nylon lair and, with just the right amount of savoir faire, surveyed the perimeter. Eureka! Inside I quickly spied The Cooler, and—even better!—a large pink and orange box of---oh, the wonder of it! –one dozen fresh and delicious Dunkin’ Donuts!!! This discovery proved the interminable journey had been worthwhile.

Much as I was tempted to dart quickly inside, I knew better and refrained. It is always best to wait until all competitions are complete: then you can rely on the milling crowds to mask your presence and prowling. When the final mud-encrusted, extravagantly priced running shoe crossed the finish line, there was a spontaneous eruption of cheers, applause, and –what sounded like—spanking….? This was followed by great exhibits of applause, cheering, congratulations, recognition, and (in a couple of cases) regurgitation; I’m told the latter is not uncommon after Herculean athletic effort.

I timed my approach carefully and managed to slip between two of our runners as they entered the team tent. Unfortunately, my pale aqua parka did not blend in as well as I had hoped with their royal blue team uniforms. But this is when I take comfort in my smaller stature…A moment later, I was In. To my delight, the cooler had been thrown open, and a dazzling array of treats met my eye! Bullseye!!

After taking possession of a few smaller items [known in the vernacular as “pocketing”], I experienced a stroke of genius!

No one took the least bit of notice as I strolled casually out of the team tent with a delectable stick of Kit Kat bar wedged rakishly in the side of my mouth.

It looked exactly like a stogie!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Once upon a time...

Mom [to various family members she encounters while strolling through the house]: Miss Cee is in her Bubble Lab….just lettin’ ya know, the Bubble Lab is busy, so use a different bathroom….don’t interrupt Cecily, she’s in the Bubble Lab…

Ben: Ah, yeh, thanks for the warning, Mom, heh-heh...

John: [hyperbolic eye-rolling—he must be practicing in a mirror!!] Sheeeeesh.

Alina: Ooooookay, then….

Some minutes later, at the family lunch table…

Dad: So, Cecily, I understand you’ve been busy in the Bubble Lab…

Cecily: Well, yes.

Mom: How’s progress coming on that new research?

Cecily [one imperial eyebrow arched skyward]…Huh?!

Mom: I’m just askin’, have you had any major breakthroughs?

Cecily: Well, it’s been really frustrating…

Ben [elbow to my ribs]: Mom! It’s NOT as easy as it looks! Come on, now!

John: Hey, what I want to know is-Is she REALLY allowed to use bubble bath for bubble science?

Mom: Bubbles…bubble bath…is that cheating or something?

Cecily: What cheating?!

John: Cecily! Just admit it…you WERE using bubble bath when you were pretending to give your Barbie a bath!

Cecily: It was NOT pretending, John-Jo!! It was a BUBBLE bath, as in bubbles!

Dad: Wait…you’re using bubble bath in the SINK?!

Cecily: um, no…

John: CECILY! You’re—

Cecily: I mean, not TODAY—right NOW!

Mom: Well, no, because right now you’re eating your tomato sandwich…

John: Look, IS she allowed to use bubble bath in the sink? That just seems like cheating.

Dad: Cecily, don’t use bubble bath in the sink, even for an experiment. We’re Hollidays and Hollidays don’t cheat!

The End

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Ben Update

This is identical to the e-mail I sent several of you, but thought I would repeat it for anyone else who might be interested...

I talked to the endocrinologist's nurse yesterday about Ben's recent blood tests, and they are very encouraging. The doctor is stopping short of saying Ben is cured and no longer diabetic, but he did write 'good report!' on the lab documentation.

Ben's blood glucose at that time was 82. They look for a normal reading to be in the range of 70-99.

Yesterday, Ben's glucose level was 159, which was a bit high for him, and we're not sure why. He's running several miles each day, 4 to 5 days a week for practice, and then has meets. He had one last Saturday, right before Homecoming, and is at another one right now, somewhere in the suburbs. We hope they're home soon. [Update: the girls team won!]

Ben's appetite is still off, although I did get a smallish steak in him yesterday. He needs to gain weight. Also, he is being a bit of a toad about testing his blood sugar (a.k.a. non-compliant), but we are putting our foot/feet down!!! Ben forgets how sick he was.

We next go to the endocrinologist in December, at which time the dr. is looking for several weeks of blood sugar readings, along with some documentation of what his reading are within two hours of eating (before and after).

The other lab report was on Ben's A1C level, which is a measure of hemoglobin and somehow gives a retrospective indication of what his blood glucose and insulin output have been over the last three months or so. The normal range is 3.9 - 6.0. Ben's reading was 5.2 percent which, honestly, was unexpected. So technically, Ben does not now meet the lab criteria for a Type 1 diabetic. Things can change, but we are encouraged. When the dr. gave us the diagnosis in January, he assured us it would most likely be a lifelong condition and that a recovery was improbable. We had not been bold enough to pray for such results as these.

But, we are very thankful!