Thursday, October 29, 2009


Since the failure of the cervical facet block 10 days ago, I went in this morning at 6:50 am for a Cervical Epidural Injection. I was somewhat knowledgeable about what was going to be done, but was allowed to ask questions before the procedure. Will the injection cause pain of it's own? How long, if it works, will it work? The injection does cause pain for several days in some people. There will be a series of 3 injections, my next one is scheduled for November 12th. After the series, if it works, the pain should be minimal for 3 to 6 months.

I was given an IV sedation of Propofol, similar to Versad. With this sedation, one is totally aware but lacking in any smidgeon of concern about what they do with your body. However, I have total faith in Dr. Ellis and his PA to handle me with care.

I am still somewhat "under the influence," but feel I am conveying factual and accurate account of my experience. (We'll see when I read it tomorrow) I am restricted from most activities and expected to "take it easy" for the rest of the day. I can resume regular activity tomorrow.

I should know in 2 - 7 days if this has helped. I'll update then. Until then, excuse me while I "take it easy."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


During a Saturday evening church service last week, we sang an old, old hymn I had never heard before. As I intently focused on the meaning of the words, I was struck with wonder, thankfulness, and humility as I realized just how great God's love, mercy, and grace are.

The words to the hymn are below. It has been sung to the tune of Sweet Hour of Prayer. Meditate on the words. I pray anyone who reads this will be blessed by it and be drawn closer to the Lord.


Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.

A great high Priest whose Name is Love

Who ever lives and pleads for me.

My name is graven on His hands,

My name is written on His heart.

I know that while in Heaven He stands

No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair

And tells me of the guilt within,

Upward I look and see Him there

Who made an end of all my sin.

Because the sinless Savior died

My sinful soul is counted free.

For God the just is satisfied

To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there the risen Lamb,

My perfect spotless righteousness,

The great unchangeable I AM,

The King of glory and of grace,

One in Himself I cannot die.

My soul is purchased by His blood,

My life is hid with Christ on high,

With Christ my Savior and my God!

Sunday, October 25, 2009


A friend sent this to me some time ago. I kept it in my read emails for quite some time because I am so aware of the subtle deceit of Satan and I feel compelled to sound the alarm wherever and whenever I can. The following is the email in it's entirety as I received it, minus Richard Exley's picture. Mr. Exley is a Godly and wise man. You don't have to be a Pastor to gain insight and warning from this message. This could happen to ANYONE!

Straight From the Heart
A Bi-weekly blog from Richard Exley

How Does a Pastor Become an Embezzler?
“The root cause of virtually all spiritual failure is disobedience in the little things.”

Corruption is as old as the human race and none of us is immune. If we do not guard our hearts at all times and practice absolute integrity in all things, even the smallest matters, we risk falling prey. One of the most heartbreaking examples of a good man who fell into corruption involves a former staff member of a Bible Church in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. He went to jail for embezzling almost $42,000 from the church over a six-year period. When I first learned of his crime I remember thinking, How could a minister do such a thing?

I was tempted to conclude that he was an aberration, an impostor, an evil man masquerading as a minister. Such a conclusion made his sinful dishonest easier to explain and it made it less likely that I might be capable of the same thing or something similar. Unfortunately it doesn’t fit the facts.

More likely he was a sincere man. No better and no worse than the rest of us. Somewhere along the way he took a wrong turn. Probably it seemed insignificant at the time. Perhaps he padded his expense account or hedged on his income tax return. Or maybe he was short of cash and “borrowed” from church funds until payday. He intended to pay it back, but somehow he never got around to doing it. After a while it was easier just to pretend it had never happened.

Had Satan tempted him to steal $42,000 in one lump sum it is not likely that he would have succumbed. Undoubtedly he considered himself an honest man, and there would have been no way he could reconcile a theft of that magnitude with his image of himself. Therefore Satan tempted him with “insignificant” amounts – twenty dollars here, fifty dollars there. And most likely he convinced himself that it was just a loan; he would pay it back.

It is safe, I am sure, to say that he did not plan to embezzle from his church. After all, if a man plans to misappropriate funds there are plenty of places more lucrative than a country church. Undoubtedly he backed into it one small compromise at a time. Somewhere along the line he opened his heart to the enemy, and before he knew it he was in over his dead. At the time of his resignation he told the congregation, “The depth of the deception is so ingrained, I do not know the scope of the amount of my stealing. I am dependent upon the elders and their audit to know the scope of my sin.”

In reality this is not about that minister but about us. The man or woman who wishes to live with integrity will learn from the mistakes of others. They will take those painful lessons and apply them to their own lives. That being the case let me ask you some hard questions. “Is there any area of your life where you have allowed ‘insignificant’ decisions to compromise your spiritual and/or moral integrity?” “Is there any relationship or behavior, no matter how ‘insignificant’ where you are compromising your spiritual and/or moral integrity?” “What are you going to do the rectify those areas where you have compromised?”

You may be tempted to excuse yourself. Don’t. Not even if you’ve been able to appease your conscience. When it comes to discerning right from wrong, we cannot trust our conscience as the final authority. It is too subjective, too easily influenced by our thoughts and feelings. Our only defense against the lies of the deceiver is the truth of God’s Word. Nothing else will sustain us in the hour of temptation.

“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people…For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person – such a man is an idolater – has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them” (Eph. 5:3, 5-7).

This is Richard Exley straight from the heart.

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Saturday, October 24, 2009


Luke 21:29-33

The big clock: -- Do you know that God has a big clock, bigger than any one you have ever seen, bigger indeed than Big Ben at Westminster. But this big clock does not make any noise, you can never hear it ticking; and it does not strike, but yet it goes on, year after year, year after year, marking the time. What do you think is the face of this clock? It is the earth; the fields and meadows and hedgerows in every part of the world -- that is the face of this clock. And what do you think are the figures upon this dial? They are flowers and birds and leaves. God's big clock does not tick, but it lives; it does not strike the hours, only some flowers open out or die away when the hour has come. Isn't that what Jesus meant when He said, Look at the fig-tree and all the trees; they are beginning now to put out buds. Very well; you know by that that this is spring-time, and by that you know that summer is coming near. The buds tell what o'clock it is by the time of year. When you were learning to tell the time on the face of the clock on the mantel-shelf, how did you begin? Was it not by first learning the quarters? When the long hand was half-way down on the right, you knew it was a quarter past; when it was half-way up on the left, you knew it was a quarter-to; and when it was down between these, you knew it was half-past; and when it was up between them you knew the clock was going to strike the hour. Well, just as there are four quarters in our clocks so there are four quarters in this big clock we are speaking about. The first quarter is springtime, half-past is summer, quarter-to is autumn, and when winter comes the year is ended. When you look at the trees and flowers you can pretty well tell what o'clock it is by the year. But standing between the quarters of the clock there are other figures. How many of these are there altogether? Twelve, are there not? And how many months are there in a year? You know -- twelve. So, you see, this clock has got all the figures, and, what is stranger still, it marks all the figures by flowers and fruits; for there are different flowers that come out every month of the year. If a smart boy were to keep his eyes about him, and understood things as he walked in the country, when he found certain trees beginning to bud and certain flowers beginning to peep up, he would say, This must be the month of January; for these always come out in January. Later on, if he saw some others, he would say, This must be "February; for these always come out in February. And so through all the year, if he was clever, he would find the flowers and trees telling him what month it was. But there is something stranger still about this clock of God's; and you must remember it, so that from time to time during the year you may learn to use your eyes and notice what God is doing in the fields. It is this: God's clock tells the hours of the day as well as the months of the year. The months are the twelve figures; but you know that between the twelve figures there are the little minutes, and these minutes are made up of moments. Now the minutes in God's big clock are days, and the moments are hours, and the clock tells them all. What then can be the meaning of this big clock? Surely it is to tell us that time is passing. Does it not plainly say that if we do not grow right in the springtime of our life, we shall not be able, when the summer comes, to go back to the springtime and mend what has been wrong? You would not like to grow up wicked, would you? Then learn to grow as the flowers grow. How is that? By always looking at the sun, and taking its light, and following it, for the flowers follow the sun with their heads, and so they become beautiful. Do you the same with Jesus -- follow Him with your hearts.
(from The Biblical Illustrator Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2006 Ages Software, Inc. and Biblesoft, Inc.)

Sunday, October 18, 2009


We had the awesome privilege of having our granddaughter, Ashlynne, 7 years old, spend the night with us Friday night. We drove to Lebanon to pick her up at her mom's salon about 4:00 p.m. She enjoyed talking to us about school, her friends, and just chit chat about things we had done in the past. While supper was being prepared, Ash got on the laptop and had fun on After supper we all watched Casper. By then, it was time for bed.

We slept in pretty late, almost 8:00 a.m. Ash watched Sponge Bob while I got the Daily Grace out. After breakfast and showers, we took off for town. Ash and I did some shopping and she got the most awesome pair of black boots. We picked up a few other neat things and took off for Burger King. Of course, when we got home the new boots and jeans were immediately donned. About mid afternoon, we made the trip back to Lebanon to take Ash home.

Ash is a very sweet, well behaved little girl. Such a delight to have around. She's such a good helper for her mom who works very hard building her business and taking care of our 4 month old grandson, Sawyer. This was a very good thing for mom, for Ash, and for us. It lifted my spirit so much to have her here. I'm hoping we can do this again real soon.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


It would seem that time softens the pain and grief of losing a loved one. But that just isn't true. Time does have a way of forcing us to continue on in spite of ourselves, but the empty place never gets filled again. Others often ridicule because the grief is still there, they believe you should be "over it" by now. Sometimes "over it" never comes. There are times when we wish we could just go be with our loved one. I wonder what our loved one would say about that. My guess would be that the loved one would say, "Keep carrying the torch. Don't give up. You will conquer this struggle if you use the gifts you have been given and be where you are to give. There are others who need what you have and can get it nowhere else. You make a difference and you are loved, even though you don't believe it."

Yes, that's what your loved one would say. You can do it. You have everything you need. Yes it will be so very difficult and seemingly impossible. The only thing that will hold you back from succeeding and making your loved one proud is you.
So live, give, and make your mom proud. Love you and miss you mom.

In loving memory of Mama Clayton and Mom Lewis

God doesn't give you the people you want;
He gives you the people you NEED...
to help you, to hurt you, to leave you, to love you
and to make you into the person you were meant to be.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


The diagnostic facet block was negative. Although the procedure itself went well. 20 minutes after the numbing agent was injected into each nerve there was no difference in the level of pain. As a result, there will be no facet cauterization next week. Instead we're going to Plan B which is an epidural on the left C6-7 on October 29th. I'm writing this while still under the influence of the IV anesthesia so if it doesn't make sense that's why. Always, no matter what, Bobbi

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Little did I know when I awoke on that wee hour Sunday morning hanging upside down, held up by a lap seat belt, that it was the beginning of years of headaches and pain from a severe neck strain/whiplash. Being 23 years old at the time had it's positives and negatives. I healed quickly on the surface and did not experience any pain or problems for years. Had I known the damage that was done at the time, there may have been something that could have been done to minimize the damage. I didn't even get my neck x-rayed at the hospital. The emergency team was more concerned about the multiple head injuries and bone deep gash on my face.

35 years later, I find myself in daily severe pain and limited range of motion due to 5 foraminal narrowings, 4 bulging discs, a foraminal peri-neural cyst, and degenerating discs with arthritis from C-2 through C-7. After many attempts to restore more range of motion and minimal pain such as anti-inflammatory and pain medications, chiropractic, traction, inversion table, meditation, deep breathing, massage, exercise, relaxation, imagery, and heat, my PCP ordered an MRI. When the extent of damage was discovered I was referred to the Spine Center at St. John's in Springfield.

Dr. Ellis has me scheduled me for a diagnostic bilateral facet block on Tuesday, October 13th. This is a temporary deadening of the facet nerves to determine if the pain is coming from the nerves. If so, about a week later I will undergo a bilateral facet cauterization. The nerve endings on each side of the discs (C-3 to C-7) will be cauterized so they will not send pain signals to the brain. This procedure is known to last from 6 months to 2 years.

Although I will be under the influence of a drug similar to Versad I will write the second part of this blog series to report how this procedure went. Until sometime Tuesday, I'll be hurting and relying on good old Tramadol. Stay tuned.