Angiogram… more?

March 2nd, 2017

On Monday, the 6th of March, I am scheduled to undergo an angiogram at the General Hospital. That is the procedure where they send a hollow line into the heart. They will introduce a radio-active dye and to take pictures of my arteries. They are looking for obstructions to the flow of blood. Depending on what they find they may do an angioplasty where they insert a stent into the obstructed artery and by balloon open the artery and leave the stent behind to keep it open.

I have some concerns about the procedure. Like times before I do not want to undergo anything in a hospital without a prayer covering. I would appreciate your prayers. That everything is done in a timely manner. That my body won’t be under the usual physical stresses that afflict me. That my blood pressure doesn’t cause the procedure to be cancelled. Pray that the arteries are open enough not to need a stent. That there will be no bleeding issues. And that I may be home the same day.

I go in at 9:00 am and when they are ready the procedure will begin. Pray that there will be no delays. I thank you in advance for your prayers.

God bless…

Joseph Raymond

Update: I would like to thank all those who prayed for me. Though the procedure was somewhat painful the results of the test were good. They saw some disease in the arteries of the heart but nothing needing any intervention at this time… no angioplasties needed. Phew… thank God… Amen!

Racism… or more broadly, Separatism!

June 30th, 2015

Racism… or more broadly, Separatism!

Racism, what is it? Bottom line, preferring one race over another.

Separatism, what is it? Preferring one group over another. This includes racism.

At the heart it is preferring one person or group over others.

This in itself is not wrong. Yet it is used to separate the world along racial lines: black, white, yellow. Separatism also includes divisions based on: gender, religion, sexual orientation, economic class, political affiliations, philosophies and the list can go on to what kind of toothpaste you use. Alright, that does seem to be stretching the point yet it exists somewhere. The largest groups are: race, religion and politics. It is more powerful when two or three of these combine.

I believe that the Bible is the word of God. It includes our early history. That history reveals that mankind didn’t want to separate at all. They wanted to be one people. They wanted to build. They wanted to reach for the stars. They wanted to become… gods, masters of their own fate and captains of their own souls. Sound familiar? Invictus by William Earnest Henley. Sounds wonderful right? Yet this is not what God wanted. He came down to the earth and created different languages and speech. The different groups could no longer understand each other, they separated and left to populate the planet as God wanted.

It was not the natural state of man to separate. They wanted to be one. Yet to accomplish God’s plan and purpose they needed to spread abroad. And it happened. We know as bible believers that “ The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” That is the natural state of man. It is the result of the fall. Because of this man took what God had done and began to create barriers. Understand, there is nothing wrong with separation. It is what we do with it that counts. Everyone is free to do what they will, but we know that everyone will have to give an account of what the individual has done when that person appears before God.

How did it begin? Perhaps after coming out of the garden, Adam and Eve had children. Were males and females held in different regard? How about religion, perhaps the different sacrifices by Cain and Able? Did the occurrence at Babel start divisions based on race, religious thought, slave and free, etc. The darkness of man’s heart really knows no bounds. Just look to the ovens at Auschwitz, Hitler’s final solution, or Communism’s own death camps.

What am I trying to say? Separatism, including racism, is in itself not evil. But what man does with and within those separations can be evil. In fact, it is the natural inclination of man’s heart to treat others who are different than themselves with different degrees of actions. It can go as far as the cruelest bond’s of slavery (including male and female sex slaves) to crucifixions on a cross to starvation of a race of people.

All of these things are still being done somewhere in this intolerant world. And it is in the heart of every living man and woman on the planet. Oh, but we are enlightened people. We are one. We tolerate everyone and everything, except those who are intolerant in our own opinion. I have heard it said that blacks are not racists. Yet they have racism in their own hearts. They can’t help themselves. If we could all recognize this fact, then we can begin to stop ourselves from acting out in negative ways. All of us must do this. In good times this can be easily done. In hard times it is easier said than done. With the help of God’s Spirit we can become a more spiritual man than a carnal man. At times it may seem to disappear altogether. Yet don’t be fooled. As long as you have flesh and bone the seed is there only waiting to spring to life. Understand that and you can begin to make a real difference in your life and in the lives of others. Keep yourself smug and secure within your own self-justified group and the evil we hate will spring up and trap us, over and over again.

In my mind I try to resist the flesh, while in my spirit I know…

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Apologies

March 21st, 2015

Site-wise I have been way too silent. Only four posts last year and no pages added to the website in two years. I have said that I would break the silence in the past… and hardly a ripple could be seen. I apologize to those who have been following me for the past few years (or decade) for the lengthened silence. I will post more often and I will add pages to my website. Time to pull on my bootstraps. Thank you for your patience.

🙂

Aorta Repair… once more.

October 18th, 2014

I just had surgery done earlier this year on the Aorta and the branch arteries. Found out a little over two weeks ago that they need to go back in and place another stent in the Aorta artery which descends down from the heart and goes past the stomach before it branches into the two arteries going down into the legs. This will be the fourth surgery in this area. Clots are still forming in this area and the artery needs to be opened with the balloon and stented on the lower part.

So, I’m calling out to my faith family and friends for prayer. Although the operation is supposed to be less risky than the previous procedures there seems to be confusion on what is actually going to be done and how it is to be accomplished. I do not know if I will receive a local injection and then go home that day or if I am going to get a spinal and spend a couple of nights? It is just too confusing…

The surgery is to take place at the General Hospital on Monday, the 20th of October at 3:00pm. Less than 48 hours from now, if all goes well, and it probably won’t unless I have your prayers. No operation was ever successful if not backed up with prayer. I am confident, with your prayers covering me, that despite the confusion, everything will work out for my good.

God bless and thank you.

update:

I had the operation. In fact they called me in an hour early to get me out earlier. I was given a local and a sedative and they started cutting. The operation went smoothly and I was out in less than an hour. I was in recovery, flat on my back, for four hours. Then the happy news… go home. The experience was short, quick and out. Much better than the other times the procedure was done. I still have to watch out for infection. Also told not to lift anything over ten pounds. This will go on for a few weeks. I would ask for your prayers to continue for a short while until I am past the point of complications. God bless 😉

9-11 for 2014

September 11th, 2014

Will we even recognize a 9-11 attack for 2014?

This is the day that Al-Qaida celebrates the taking down of the twin towers in New York, NY. It is the day they choose to remind everyone that they are a force to be reckoned with. There have been attacks on almost every 9-11 since then… or perhaps there were attacks every year but the media and politicos downplayed the event.

Why would they downplay the event? Because it is not politically expedient to show how ineffective their fight against terrorism truly is. Case in point… Libya 2012.

President Obama informs the nations of the world that Osama Bin-Laden has been killed. Not only him but the entire Al-Qaida structure has been weakened to the point of second rate threat. Then on 9-11 of 2012, the great anniversary of the US tragedy, an Al-Qaida affiliate in Libya launches a late night attack that went into the wee hours of the morning of the twelfth. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others were killed. Many more wounded. Who did the state department blame? Regular Muslims protesting a movie spoof on the life of Mohammed. They kept up that lie until it fell apart because of political pressure after a few days.

During this whole episode, which continues to this day, with hearings and testimony a-plenty being given, I have never seen anything on the news that said this was a planned 9-11 attack. There have been a few mentions over time. The blog-o-sphere has plenty to say. Yet most still bury their collective head in the sand and refuse to name the true culprit. Hadith style Islam… not the one of the Qu-ran, but the tribal teachings attached to the prophet’s words… the sayings.

If a person wants to follow the teachings of the prophet as found in the Qu-ran… then I will fight for their right to fight their own personal/spiritual Jihad. When it crosses over to the establishing of an Islamic Caliphate State (based on the Hadith) by imposing its will against all others… that is the struggle I will stand against and name a heresy.

Through the actions of ISIS or ISIL, to borrow a biblical phrase, the name of the prophet “is blasphemed among the gentiles.” Yet this struggle belongs more in the hands of other Muslims. They need to stand up against those who would pervert the words of the prophet found in the Qu-ran. If they don’t stand up and make a clear distinction between them and ISIS and their like… they will be tarred with the same brush that is used on ISIS and they will suffer not only at the hands of the “unbelievers” and “the people of the book” but will suffer at the hands of their very own people. Muslims, please unit and save the dignity of the prophet and his words found in the Qu-ran from the abusers out for political Jihad in the world.

As a Christian I would rather have you believe in Jesus the Son of God. But that is your choice and I will defend your right to choose who you will follow. And I hope that you would defend my right to choose as well.

God bless the peacemakers.

Continuing Silence…

July 5th, 2014

It will not come as a surprise to those who regularly visit my site… a lengthening silence in content and holes in blog posts. Simply enough, depression… Always had it and perhaps always will. Yet God still reaches through the fog and shines a little light. I pick-up my bible and start reading again. Pick-up the guitar and sing. Though I am broken I can still be used by God because He is faithful even when I am hurting.

That is the message… God Is Faithful! Even when I can’t be.

Physically? Quickly losing the ground the operation gave me. Being limited in what I can do and for how long I can do it. Yet even though I lose ground every season that passes I have this hope… That God will reach down and heal me… miraculously… because He said He would. Holding onto that promise for 27 years. Again… God is faithful… so I learn Abrahamic patience 😉

God’s Plan… surgery bumped.

December 16th, 2013

Update 2: Surgery went well and I am out of the hospital already. Glad to have this part over with. Now for a speedy recovery with no infections would be nice. Your continued prayers will be appreciated. 😉

Update: Well, I am going to bed early tonight (Sunday Feb 9). My operation is at 8:00 am tomorrow (Monday) and I have to be there at 6:00 am to get processed. Those who pray I ask for your prayer covering. If all goes well I should be getting out Wednesday-Thursday. Pray for Linda as well, that god will strengthen her and give her peace of mind. God bless.

Previous post:
My surgery has been cancelled. It will be rescheduled. I will know tomorrow or the day after when it will be.

But haven’t I got a lot of prayer… so what went wrong? I thought of that, knowing that God always has a plan, specially if it is backed up by prayer. So what happened?

First, I was scheduled to have the surgery at 8:00am. That was bumped to 12:30pm. The guy that bumped me, the one who got the 8:00 slot, has had complications. His/her surgery is still going on and will be going on for many more hours. Just not enough time in a day to do us both… safely. Since the person is a lot worse off than me I have no problem with being bumped to another day. It is just the pre-op stuff to do over again, the fasting, the prayer, etc…

When I get the new date and time I will again ask for your prayers, for they are more precious to me than gold or silver.

UPDATE:

New date for surgery Feb 10
Registration 6:00am
Surgery 8:00am

Nelson Mandela

December 10th, 2013

Nelson Mandela

An Icon of Truth and Reconciliation has passed away and a nation, yea the world, mourn his passing. He was the grandfather image to every child. He was the inspiration for several generations. He wasn’t a saint but he was a pragmatic seer who helped a people avert a race war that could have killed hundreds of thousands. South Africa has many systemic problems but racial hatred is not a major problem. Now that he has passed from the scene will the ghosts of the past resurrect and haunt the soul of a nation? Only time will tell.

What do I remember of his time? He was a trouble maker fighting for the rights of his people (and justly so). When the apartheid laws were passed, and the oppressed peoples organized, violence began to bloom in ways not too dissimilar than what was experienced by others around the world. The “African National Congress” was formed and they had a militant wing. Coloured people made national protest, the police met this with a hard and sometimes murderous hand. Our peace loving Mandela took up arms and a revolutionary was born. He was caught early enough in his campaign, charged with treason and jailed, before the terror escalated and the image of riots were broadcast around the world. I remember seeing Winnie Mandela shake a box of matches… and the necklaced victims. Police vehicles going through black camps firing their weapons. The dead and dying: white, black and mixed blood.

In prison, on Robin Island, Mandela still fought, but using passive resistance, to improve the lot of black prisoners. He read a poem and the seed of the pragmatist was planted.

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley

Mandela read about the national freedom won by other African nations. He saw how the lies kept people in darkness and a call for vengeance made black on white and black on black atrocities the norm as violence tore away what little national life blood remained. Truth; the good, bad and ugly; had to be placed before the light of day. Reconciliation, not the meaningless lip service of an easily spoken “forgive me” but the honest approach to mend and build… yea, to forge a new relationship with those who despised you, hurt you, killed you was needed. That was what Mandela brought to the negotiating table. That is what he brought to the nation. That is what healed the people.

Mandela… the man

Surgery… one more time.

December 2nd, 2013

Surgery… one more time.

Some of you already know that I will be having surgery, once again. My pre-op will be on the 5th of December and the surgery on the 16th. Don’t know the times yet.

The procedure is to open up the stent in my abdominal aorta, where it descends into the right and left legs. Build-up of material has accumulated where the stent divides. They need to send a balloon (angioplasty) up into the stent and inflate it. A mesh will be put in place to keep the stent open. Perhaps he will do something about the clots in the upper part of the stent (let wisdom prevail).

At the same time they need to do a repair on the by-pass they put in my right leg/hip area (hmmm, can’t remember if it was one or two years ago) by placing a patch over a weak area in the arterial wall.

This operation concerns me a bit. So I will ask now for your prayers to prepare me and the surgeon for this operation. Since I began asking for prayer prior to my surgeries things have gone well. When I had surgery without a prayer covering??? Couldn’t have been much worse. I will give more details after I have the pre-op in a few days. Hopefully the pre-op will be quick.

Please read comments for times and updates.

Volcano in Borneo?

November 26th, 2013

So a new island comes up near Japan thanks to an underwater volcanic eruption. There has also been some activity in Indonesia. Last night I was lying in bed and I set my mind to straying for knowledge, the type that comes from God’s Holy Spirit. I got a sense of impending cataclysm and a low resolution picture (they are always low resolution) of a massive eruption to take place on the island of Borneo, an island of Indonesia. So I prayed that it would not happen. If it did happen there wouldn’t be a great loss of life. I have no idea if a cataclysm will take place. I just know that I needed to pray. If nothing happens either my prayer had effect or my thoughts on my pillow were the result of something I ate before bed. Either way, not to pray would be foolish.

Why pay any attention to it at all? I remember the last time I had a picture of a great disaster. An undersea earthquake off of Malaysia/Indonesia. A tidal wave that swamped the Indian Ocean. I did not pray because I thought it was a bit too foolish to do so. Less than a week later there was an earthquake and a tidal wave did kill a hundred thousand around the Indian Ocean coastline.

These pictures are rare. Most times I never know if anything happens at all. Most times I don’t pray. Yet once in awhile the picture unfolds just as I have seen it. So I pray and hope that nothing happens.

I pray Lord Father that there will be no incident and that no one is hurt. In Jesus’ holy name. Do I get an amen out there?