Excerpts from my book….If 40 is the new 20….I must be 10

“Kneedy Knee Clinic. May I help you?”
“I need to speak to your Needy nurse.”
“Dr. Kneel’s office,” Nurse Ratchet replied.
“It seems my records were never sent to the ‘Eura Pain in the Butt’ Clinic.”
“I’m sorry, but, as I told you before, those files were certified, copied to a hard drive, and skydived to Dr. Hamn’s office last Tuesday. No way around it…I had to make another call to that pain in the butt nurse.
“Eura Pain in the Butt Clinic,” the receptionist said. “Oh, it’s you again. You’re becoming a big pain in the butt.”
“Speaking of which,” I said. “I called the Kneedy Knee Clinic and they said my records were sent to you last week. I suggest you double check your daughter’s Barbie lunch tote or tweet the janitor before I file a complaint with the chief butt in your cracked corporation.”
There was a long pause. Finally, she came back on the line, and her voice was sugary. “Oh, my gracious goodness,” she said, ever so sweetly. “Your records were here all the time, in this little ole filing cabinet. Now, when would you like to come in for your first appointment?” Before I could answer, she said, “How about next month?”
“No problem,” I told her, “I shouldn’t need to walk, bend, or pee until then. I’ll see you in thirty.”
The day of my appointment arrived. I found the clinic, and hobbled into the building. I took a wrong turn off the elevator and nearly signed up for a colonoscopy. Talk about a pain in the butt. I’d rather drink poison grape juice at the “Mission for Mad Men” than ‘expose’ myself to that.
Finally, I found the correct waiting room, signed my name, filled out a dozen more forms, and sat down. The waiting room was full. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know there are many butts in this world. I had barely opened a magazine when a lady called my name. Excellent, I thought. I’m going to get right in. But, it was the restroom where we were headed.
“We need a urine sample,” she said. “Tinkle in the little cup, put your little cup in the little drawer by the little sink, and go back to your room. I’ll call you when it’s time for you to come out again.”
I had the strange sensation that I was being potty trained. I did what “mommy” told me, and marched into the waiting room.
Eventually, I was taken to an examination room. Two cute girls were in there. I assumed them to be eleven or twelve. One of the girls sat in front of me, armed with a clipboard.
“Are you a smoker? Illegal drugs? Goose down or cotton? Plaids or stripes? Elvis or the Beatles?
No doubt, these were serious questions, but I wasn’t clear about their relevance to my problem. I asked, “Is there anyone here who can help me with my back and hip pain?”
“Of course,” the twelve year old told me. “The doctor will be right in. But first, we need to check your blood pressure, measure your shoe size, and get an inseam.”
I soon determined that I might possibly have wandered into the fan club for “Idiot’s Anonymous” when a white -cloaked doctor walked through the door.
“Hello, Mrs. Smith, he said. “I’m Dr. C.U. Hamn, and I will be shooting you in the butt. Do you have any questions?”
“ I have a list here,” I said, pulling a three paged, single-spaced note from my purse.
“Go ahead, shoot,” he said.
“First of all, when will I get shot and where? How many shots will be fired? Can I be heavily sedated when you shoot me?
“The shooting will take place at our clinic,’ “ he said. Our target area will be the site of your worst pain. You will be put to sleep, unless you choose to stay awake and kiss your butt goodbye.”
“Sounds good,” I said, obviously speaking with my head up my butt.
“Bend over the exam table, and pull down your pants, “ he said, way too fast for our first date. I wondered what he must think, staring at that mound of misery.
“Hmmmnnn,” he said. Does this hurt?” he asked, his right hand now pushing a large knot at the top of my right thigh.
“OOOHHHH,”I moaned in pain.
“How about here?” he asked. He poked my lower back.
“OOOhh, EEEee!” I said, too loud. “That’s the spot.”
“Looks like we have a sacroiliac joint inflamed, with two spurs at lumbar 5, pressing on nerves 2, 4, 6, 8, and 9. These pressed nerves are not happy.”
He walked over to his cabinet and retrieved a stethoscope. He placed it on my lower back. Then, he said, “Your lower back and sacroiliac are sending a message from pain central. It’s coming in loud and clear.”
“Wonderful!” I said, now delirious from the pain. “What are they saying?”
“The message sounds like this,” he continued: “Ooh Eee Ooh Ah Ah Ting Tang Walla Walla Bing Bang. Ooh Eee Ooh Ah Ah Ting Tang Walla Walla Bing Bang.”
“The witch doctor song?” I squealed, jerking at my pants, now fearing he was aiming a spear at my derriere.
“Yes, that is correct,” he was saying. At the ‘Eura Pain in the Butt Clinic’ we use both prescribed and alternate methods of treatment. Our witchin’ method is highly recommended for back pain.
“This sounds like a bunch of hocus pocus,” I blurted out, “I thought this was a reputable clinic.”
“Allow me to explain,” he continued. “This witching method works precisely like water witching. We dig down into the spinal cavern, find the line, tap it, and pull out. Simple enough?”
And so, as the song goes, he seemed quite nice, so I took his advice. I’m no miser, and needed someone wiser, so I told the witch doctor:

Mr. Witch Doctor, I’m so afraid of you.”
Mr. Witch Doctor, I don’t know what to do.
So, Mr. Witch Doctor, my butt belongs to you.”
And he said:
“Ooh Eee Ooh Ah Ah Ting Tang Walla Walla Bing Bang
Ooh Eee Ooh Ah Ah Ting Tang Walla Walla Bing Bang.”
And then the Witch Doctor, he told me what to do, he said:
“When we probe to the center of your sac,
Find that leak and plug that drain,
You’ll be dancing, doing some tap,
Free of worry, free of pain.”
Well, I could name that tune with three notes, so I signed on the dotted line. In a matter of weeks, I was sitting in the pre-op room. A nurse was holding a clipboard. This place was using more paper than the press.
“I need to ask you some questions,” she said.
“Shoot,” I said.

“Now What?” The Christian Connection May Devotion “Now What?” By Myra F. Smith Bible Verse: “To these men He also showed Himself alive after His suffering in Gethsemane and on the cross, by many infallible proofs…appearing to them over a period of forty days….” (Acts 1: 3) Jesus, the Messiah, endured a trial, brutal beatings, and crucifixion. Jesus, the disciples’ leader and hope for their future, was dead. Now what? Jesus reappeared to the disciples after His ascension, to assure them that He was alive, and His work would go forward. This period of Biblical history was known as Pentecost, which means, “God equipping His people with the Holy Spirit, to carry out His work in the kingdom.” And how did the Holy Spirit appear? “A sound came from Heaven like a rushing violent wind…there appeared to them tongues resembling fire….” WOW! Violent winds and fiery tongues would get your attention! And, what was the result of this dynamic visitation by the Holy Spirit? The Bible tells us that 3,000 souls were baptized that day! Not only that, but the people fully devoted themselves to the instruction of the disciples, ate meals and worshipped together. They sold their property and possessions and shared with anyone in need. Too often, we live after Easter much like we did before Easter. We live in the present world, and never share the message or our possessions. Do you feel the rushing wind of the Holy Spirit? Have you felt the fire of His love burn within you? What’s next for us? I don’t know, but I’m hoping to be blown away by God’s answer.

A Love That Never Fails

The Christian Connection
February Devotion
A Lasting Love
By Myra F. Smith

Bible Verse: “Let me fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are very great.” (1 Chronicles 21:13)

George Matheson, who wrote the words to the song, “O Love That Will Not Let Me Go,” was no stranger to love. At age nineteen, while graduating from Glasgow University for work in the Christian ministry, he became totally blind. His fiancé, unwilling to marry a blind man, returned his ring. That rejection never left him, and it was during this time of sorrow that he wrote the beautiful hymn, “O Love That Will Not Let Me Go.”

One Sunday morning, while ministering at a small church, a visitor who was a member of the large St. Bernard’s Church in Edinburgh, was impressed with him, and they later asked him to pastor their church. He said of this exciting event in his life: “Make every occasion a great occasion. You can never tell when somebody may be taking your measure for a larger place.”

In this month of valentines, candy boxes, heart shaped balloons, and flowers, let’s take a look at George Matheson’s idea of the perfect love:

“O joy, that seekest me through pain, I cannot close my heart to Thee. I trace the rainbow through the rain, and feel the promise is not vain, that morn shall tearless be.”

O love, that wilt not let me go. I rest my weary soul in Thee. I give Thee back the life I owe, that in Thine ocean depths its flow, may richer, fuller be.”

George Matheson, as far as I know, never experienced a romantic, human love, but he experienced an even greater love…a love that would not leave him…a love that would see him through the pain of blindness, and allow him to feel the rainbow casting its colors through the rain.

God’s love never leaves us; it is not dependent on circumstances or human whims; it grows strong when we grow weak; it is life sustaining and brings cheer to our gloomy hearts. God’s love is eternal, beautiful, strong, gracious, loving, and willing to enter a waiting heart.

This year, send a Valentine to God. Express your love for the One who will never let you go. And your heart will be full, and your eyes, once blinded by rain, will once more see the rainbow.

When Bad Things Happen

The Christian Connection
May Devotion
“When Bad Things Happen”
By Myra F. Smith

Bible Verse: “For the thing which I greatly fear comes upon me, and that of which I am afraid has come upon me.” (Job 3:25)

The story of Job makes me want to yell, “NO FAIR!” Why would God let Satan torture His loyal and faithful servant? How could God allow the devil to destroy Job’s herd and livelihood, kill off his children, and cover the poor man with sores in one day? That’s more than a lifetime of suffering in 24 hours!

But, never fear. His dear wife and friends will help. His wife yells in his good ear, “Curse God and die!” What an encourager! Then, his best friends come over with droning lectures about sin, suffering, salvation, sacrifice, and any other “s” word that may add to his misery. At first, Job takes it all in stride. Later in the story, he gets angry and yells back. I want to say, “You go, Job!”

Yes, Job told his friends he’s had quite enough, and even argues with God, throwing out the old “Why me?” argument. Ever asked God that question? “Why me? What did I do wrong? Why don’t you punish the loser who beats his wife or fat cat who cheats his employees out of their retirement? How about some sores for them?”

God did answer Job. He challenged him to acknowledge the difference between Creator and Created. It was a battle of wits, but when Job repents of his doubts, God restores his family, health and possessions. Job talked directly to God, but, even in our deepest prayers, we may only hear silence, and lose faith.

I have a favorite throw pillow that says, “Stars Can’t Shine Without Darkness.” It reminds me daily that it is only in the dark that stars shine; a reminder that God is still at work in us to heal, comfort, love, encourage, and restore us.

Job’s story relates that bad things do happen to good people. The stars are our answer from God that even in the darkest times, His love remains with us. And I, for one, am beginning to feel the warmth and comfort of the Son.

Onward Christian Soldiers

Onward Christian Soldiers
The Christian Connection
September Newsletter
By Myra F. Smith

Bible Verse: “You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, Who is with you.” (2 Chronicles 20:17)

Rev. Sabine Baring-Gould, who wrote this hymn in the mid 1860’s, actually composed it as a children’s marching song. Neighborhood children were marching to a Sunday school rally, and Sabine wanted to give them a marching song. Listen to some of the words of this song:

Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before.
Like a mighty army moves the church of God; brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod. We are not divided, all one body we, one in hope and doctrine, one in charity. Crowns and thrones may perish, kingdoms rise and wane, but the church of Jesus constant will remain.”

We are in the midst of a war today; a war of religious and cultural extremes and fanaticism. If you watch the news, you have to know that we, as a nation, are in the midst of a violent and unsettling time. We have citizens vs. the police; Muslims vs. Christians; blacks vs. whites vs. Hispanic; the wealthy vs. the poor, and so on. For these wars, weapons of destruction are used to kill and cripple the enemy.

But, look at the words of this song. We are encouraged as a Christian army to be armed with the cross of God as our weapon. What do we take with us into battle? According to the song, we are to be armed with hope, doctrine, and charity. Are you kidding me? These are our weapons against assault rifles, and terrorist bombs?

How could this possibly work? Jesus showed us. Without weapons, a king’s crown, or even a shield, He conquered hate, injustice, abuse, inequality and disbelief, and promoted peace, justice, equality, love, compassion, and hope. His army was His word, and the cross was His weapon against sin, giving all of us a future of hope through salvation.

Truly, if ever there has been a time when Christians need to arm themselves with the cross of Christ, it is now. Join the army of God, and win the only battle that counts: the battle of love versus hate.

Listen My Children

Listen my children, listen and hear

Angels singing, shepherds leading,

Wise men traveling from afar

Songs of praise fill the air!

Listen, my children, and you shall hear.

 

Look my children, and you will see,

Joseph and Mary who is with child

Tired and weary, they come to a place

Where lambs lie down and sheep graze.

Look my children, look and see.

 

Come, my children, come see the babe

Swaddled in cloths, asleep on the hay

Sh…don’t wake the boy so sweet,

His mission on earth will soon be complete

Come, my children, come and see.

 

Worship, my children, worship Him

Jesus Christ, redeemer and friend

He teaches compassion; He message is love

Blessed and sent by the Father above.

Worship, my children; worship Father and Son.

 

Tell the story, the story of His birth

Share the news…Christ is Lord of the Earth!

Our sins are forgiven; our future is bright!

Jesus gives our souls new life!

Tell the story; tell it tonight.

 

Go, my children, for you will be

Christ’s disciple for those in need

Become a witness; give Him the praise

Embrace and cherish the human race.

 

And the magical star that heralded His birth

Will once more, shine down

On all His children, here on earth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Praise Him! Praise Him!

The Christian Connection

November Devotion

“Praise Him, Praise Him”

By Myra F. Smith

Bible Verse: I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.” (Psalm 146:2)

Chances are, if you were asked to name a Thanksgiving hymn, this would not be on the list. However, when Fanny Crosby wrote this song, her original title was, “Praise, Give Thanks.”

Fanny Crosby, the most gifted and prolific of all our hymn writers, wrote between 8,00 and 9,000 hymns, all penned in total darkness. At the age of eight, the family physician was called to her home for an inflammation of her eye. The Dr. was out, so a stranger came and applied hot poultices to her eyes, resulting in total blindness for this young girl. The stranger left town, never to be heard from again. Instead of seeing this bizarre incident as a curse, Fanny considered it a blessing from God, and believed she would never have written hymns if she had been sighted.

Fanny Crosby taught at the New York school for the blind for eleven years, after attending there for seven. She was the first woman to appear before the U.S. Senate, accompanied by other blind people who petitioned for proper training and education for people with no sight. At the age of sixty, she began work as a home missionary, working in the Bowery District of New York City, a most depressing place. It was here she wrote, “Rescue the Perishing.” She was a champion for women’s rights, equality, and justice long before it became popular.

This Thanksgiving, keep the words of this great hymn in your heart. Here are just a few phrases from this inspiring hymn:

Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! Sing, O earth, His wonderful love proclaim!”

“Like a shepherd, Jesus will guard His children. In His arms He carries them all day long.”

“Praise Him! Praise Him! Tell of His excellent greatness; Praise Him! Praise Him! Ever in joyful song!”

Praise Him this Thanksgiving. Be thankful for His bountiful provision, saving grace, and everlasting love. Fanny Crosby took a horrible handicap and turned it into a blessing for generations of believers. And today, because of her faith, we can continually sing His praise…ever in joyful song.