A Nurse With Attitude

Where Dark Cynical Humor, Nursing Issues, and Politics Seem to Merge

Archive for the category “Politics”

Billy Graham

Not to get too political, but Billy Graham passed away. He was one of the greatest evangelists in history.  He has preached to over 200 million people and his simple message of  John 3:16

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

And because of this simple message about salvation, he is responsible for bringing millions of people, once considered lost to salvation.

He was a great man. For what he has done, there was only one American President who attended his funeral. To me, this says a lot about our leadership and the type of people we had in charge for so many years prior to our current President.

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Thoughts on the Florida School Massacre

Anyone know what movie this scene is from?  It’s one of my top favorites.

“Lo, there do I see my father. Lo, there do I see my mother, and my sisters, and my brothers. Lo, there do I see the line of my people back to the beginning. Lo, they do call to me. They bid me take my place among them in the halls of Valhalla where the brave may live forever…”

 

 “A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer’s hand.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Even the ancient Romans understood that blaming a tool, rather than the person wielding the tool in an illegal manner, was ludicrous.

If a cop kills someone, they populace riots and blames the cop.  If a psycho shoots and kills someone, they blame the gun… and demand that the government takes the guns from all the innocent people who also possess guns. ..  Let that sink in a bit.

 

Take a Different Look on Things

Today I made the mistake of turning the news on. I found my senses instantly assaulted with stories of fighting politicians, corrupt corporations, and countless crimes. It seemed like the only news worth showing was mankind at its very worst. It seemed like the only thing they wanted to talk about was what went wrong today.

After a few minutes I turned the television back off. I poured myself a glass of wine, sat down at my kitchen table, and instead thought about what went right today. Today the sun came over the horizon and bathed the world in its golden, life-giving light. Today my little house once again kept me warm, safe, and dry. Today I had 3 meals of wonderful food that kept me healthy, alive, and energized for the work of the day. Today whenever I reached my hand down I had a furry head to pet as my cat shared his unconditional love with me. Today I got to hug and encourage my sons and see the joy that they share with the world.

Today I played with my grandbaby and was once again amazed at how beautiful she is. Today I got a call from family back in Alabama and they shared their lives and their love with me. Today I shared a few messages of love and joy myself. Today I felt God’s love for me flowing through all of His creation and encouraging me to once again spread His love, tell His truth, and shine His light.

When you are at the end of your days in this world are you going to dwell on what went wrong or rejoice in what went right? God showers this world in goodness and we need only to open our hearts to see it.  I’m not saying to ignore bad things, but instead rejoice in everything that goes right in your life. Give thanks for it. And do your best to add your own goodness, kindness, and love to it as well. By doing this you will be helping God to make this Earth a lot more like Heaven.

A Little Encouragement

In my profession, I frequently find myself very discouraged. When I was young I wanted excitement, so I got a job in the emergency department.  I found it to be difficult, very stressful and frequently heartbreaking.  I didn’t realize it in the beginning, but I would see death, pain and suffering on a scale greater than I could ever have imagined. I was weak, and after a few years, I began to question my faith and even the existence of God. This was a very dark time in my life. I saw very bad things and I even took part in some bad things.  I saw real evil.  Then, out of the blue, while reading a biography on Albert Einstein, I had a realization that somehow renewed my faith.  He said, for every power, there is an opposite power. So essentially, you can’t have evil without good. It’s the “yen” to the “yang.” But this still didn’t help me that much in my struggle. I would wonder why a drunk driver would mow down a three year old, or a convicted felon rob a store and in the get-away, shoots a single mother three small children.  And this level of tragedy was constant and every day, seven days a week.  My faith was suffering and it was killing me.   I eventually had to leave the ER. I now work in a much calmer, less-stressful environment.  I still have PTSD like visions of the ER. Mostly because I know in my heart that, even though I’m no longer there to witness it personally.    I know that these horrors are still there and going strong.

I now work in outpatient surgery and do mostly oncology surgery. I often wonder if I’m doing any good at all.  I actually put an application to work at Ace Hardware on Saturday.

I think it’s strange how God works. …

The Starfish Story

A young man is walking along the beach and sees thousands and thousands of starfish washed ashore.  A little further, he sees an old man stooping and picking up one starfish after another and tossing each back into the ocean.  “Why are you throwing starfish  into the ocean?” he asks.

“Because the sun is up and the tide is going out.  If I don’t throw them further in, they will die.”

The young man said, “but don’t you realize there are miles of beach and many starfish.  You can’t possibly save them all.  you can’t even save one-tenth of them.  In fact, even if you work all day, you efforts won’t make any difference at all.”

The old man listened calmly and then bend down and picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea.  “Well, it made a difference to that one.”  he said.

I got this bit of encouragement from my friend just today….Thanks Lloyd.   It helped a lot.

Reflections on Amtrak

I was on-duty, working as an ER nurse back in Alabama, when the “worst train disaster in history” happened. A tugboat had accidentally rammed a bridge over a river and ruined the alignment of the tracks. The high speed Amtrak train then happened along, hit the bad tracks and plummeted into the river. I remember it well. Mostly because it was traumatizing as a relatively new nurse thrust into a mass casualty situation.

Strangely enough, I now find myself working in the surgery department at a level one trauma center here in Portland OR, and I live right across the river in Washington state. In the wake of the most recent Amtrak disaster, I have some thoughts I’d like to share. First, the train was traveling at a very high rate of speed. The “speed limit” arbitrarily set by the government for that particular curve in the tracks was around 40 mph. The train was traveling almost twice that speed. Next, there was a person in the driver’s seat with the engineer that wasn’t supposed to be there? The official story was that he was “in training.” Also, this was the first run of a new train route. I’m not sure what this has to do with anything, but the government was using it as a valid excuse, so here it is.

I have had my fair share of dealings with the government and the bureaucratic entanglements of a unionized federal employee. I was once employed by the VA hospital of New Orleans. If you have any doubts, think of practically any government agency that you have dealt with in the past…. Say the DMV, or the US postal system. I believe that quality service, efficiency, and customer satisfaction is not in the top ten list of employee concerns. Also, in my own personal experience as working as a registered nurse in the VA system, I’ve discovered that incompetence, inability, or even simple malpractice is accepted as normal and, in no way ever considered as reasons for discipline or dismissal for anyone within the system.

The government employees that are tasked to “study” and “investigate” this Amtrak “accident” directly caused by the inattention of another group of government employees, claim that it may take at least “a calendar year, maybe longer” to gather information and formulate a possible reason for this train derailment disaster. When asked by the news media, they said that “it was too soon, but it could be part the signalman, engineer, brakeman or something altogether different, we just don’t know.” Well, I say, we as a human race have been running trains for literally hundreds of years, and it seems that America keep having serious issues with Amtrak. This is particularly alarming to me considering the vast number of train systems that have a superb safety record operating in seriously primitive third world countries. What are we doing wrong? We have the best equipment, the best and most modern electronic control systems, and the best quality track system, yet we still kill people through unexplainable “accidents”. All things being equal, I think it has to be the employee running the train. Could it possibly be the misconduct or neglectful attitude of a government employee?

Here’s a lighter note that seems to seal my arguement…

I read this article about a Baboon what worked for the train company in Cape Town South Africa. https://www.techly.com.au/2014/12/08/monkeying-around-baboon-employed-railroad-signalman-never-made-mistake/

The baboon reported to work each day and was paid in brandy. He worked non-stop for nine years and was reported, to have never made a mistake. This is quite different than the regular unionized humans working the tracks at Amtrak.

 

Secure Your Walk With the Lord

“Lay not up for yourself treasures upon earth, where moths and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break in and steal: But lay up for yourself treasures in heaven, where neither moth  nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break  in nor steal:  For where your treasure is, there will be your heart also.”     — Matthew 6:19-21

 

I work as a surgical nurse in surgery and currently reside as the service lead for General Surgery and Surgical Oncology. That is dealing with cancer and the methods of treatment of the disease.  One of the things which really bothers me is the almost uniform reaction of professing Christians when they are given the diagnosis of having cancer.  They usually simply fall apart.  I know it’s hard, but I fail to understand.  As I sought the Lord in prayer as the reason, He gave me the above scripture. verses in answer. Christians, for the most part are not laying up treasures in heaven. Their treasures are here on earth, and so are their hearts. That is why they are so devastated at the prospect of experiencing a very real possibility of death.

This brought me to the next question, Exactly what are “treasures in heaven?”  The few sermons I have heard on the subject interpreted treasures in heaven to be the good works Christians had done for the Lord.  But,  that didn’t seem to be the answer as many of my  patients had done many “good works” for the Lord during their lives, and were still pretty upset.  Obviously,  “works” was not the answer.

So I went back and prayed about this again.  I found several references in my search, and my best answer is that you, as an individual,  need to do a self assessment.  It’s like buying  insurance.   Before something bad happens, you need to assess that you have the proper insurance. So when that flood hits, you will be a little upset, but not the same level of upset if you were to lose everything.  The same is with your immortal soul. (which is considerably more important than property)  Before you get cancer, you need to sit down and assess your relationship with God.  Ask the Lord for forgiveness, and to come into, and be a working part of your life.   After that, you need to pray and read scripture.   Some believe that the Bible is a comfort the troubled soul.  I believe that it is only the beginning. For mere words can’t nourish a troubled soul.  It is only in God Himself.  Unless the new Christian finds God in a personal experience,  they are not the better for having heard or read the truth.  The Bible is not an end in itself, but merely a means to bring people to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His Presence  and feel Him in their hearts.

It is never too late to make your peace with your Maker and prepare your treasure in heaven.  If you think waiting until after a house fire to think about home insurance would  be troubling,  Think about the “unquenchable lake of fire”  and if you failed to secure your insurance for that!

Material Things

I was working the other day with a surgeon who was so excited about getting “the new iPhone Ten” He said that he paid a thousand dollars for it. I was astounded at this crazy expenditure. But in today’s society, we go out and get what we want. If we want something material like an iPhone or car, we generally need to go shopping for it and, if valuable, we must be prepared to spend many dollars to get it.

When we have bought our dream item, we must then take care of it. That’s usually likely to involve more time and more money. I too fall into that same old trap. I like to go to the range and shoot. It relieves stress and allows me to get outside and enjoy the fresh air on occasion. I have a custom 1000 yard rifle. I have to take special care in its cleaning and storage. I also custom hand make all the ammo that goes through it. It is expensive and very time consuming.

So, the leading question! Why are many of us willing to give such special attention to material wealth but not to God? After all, the items we buy and cling to usually depreciate in value over time; God does not and His rewards are for eternity. We ignore these gifts and the sad part, they are not expensive. All we have to do is ask.

Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and my load is not hard to carry.” (Matthew 1128-30)

Remember, God is loving and merciful, look for Him!

Do you Carry?

Sitting ducks.

That is the way I described that church massacre in Texas.

“Like shooting fish in a barrel” one of my friends said.

I don’t condone offensive wars. As Christians, it is not our call to kill, or even condone violence.  But it is also not the time to cower sheepishly in the corner while the wolf ravages the flock. Are you your brother’s keeper? Would things be different in Sutherland Springs if a few members in that congregation had been packing?

It is not righteous to watch the innocent be slaughtered. It is one thing for the individual to choose to die without a fight…but it is quite another to watch your neighbor die because you refused to fight. Is it considered to be a good Christian to do nothing while your neighbors die?

I have had a CHL for 34 years. In the last, say ten years, I’ve not exercised my right to carry. However, I think now that I just might pick it up and regularly carry it once again.

In these days, we are clearly in the midst of troubled times. I think it’s  time to admit that it’s getting more and more dangerous to be a Christian in America today.  In the 7 years in which I have been writing my blog, I have never seen the LEFT so unhinged.  I firmly  believe that we will live to see the day where the White Anglo Saxon Christian becomes the most hated citizen in this land. My more right-wing conservative friends have been saying that we are living in “the end times.”  I think now, I am starting to realize it for myself.

Raising kids

My wife and I had three sons,  now fine grown men. When we reflect on their teenage years, we recall many happy memories, but also some frightening moments.

During the rebellious, emotional ups and downs we discovered valuable lessons. First, we learned to hold a steady, consistent course so our kids could have something stable to look toward.  If we strayed in the slightest, it magnified in our children. They scrutinized and challenged everything we said and did.   As our children attempted to find their own way, they tested us for purity and validity. No amount of speeches or punishment worked. Communication, listening, and love helped most. We also soon discovered our example meant much more than mere words.

Another lesson learned was to maintain a close fellowship with our Lord. He was our Guide, our Counselor, Friend and the source of our strength. Because of this we were able to give each child to God.  He could go with them where we couldn’t and speak to each one when our words didn’t reach them.

Now we praise God for His miracles and His answered prayers for our family.  We still hold those tall strapping men,  our precious daughters by marriage, and now our grandchildren up to God and leave them in His care each day.

I clearly admit that my parenting skills are not the best.  I lay it at the hands of God.  He made my kids what they are today… and for that I say a prayer of thanks each and every day for the blessings that I have.

Sorry, Hell is still quite hot

My wife recently quit her job.  I continue to work at the same job even though she’s gone.  She quit and decided to never come back based on “ethical reasons.”  I, on the other hand, feel that my job in this inner city hospital, is much a kin to a missionary going off to a backwater part of the world to bring savages to Jesus. These people are as far from Christ as anyone can possibly get. My wife even said once, (before she gave up and quit) that “I’m sure there are some closet Christians here.  You just have to find them.”  Now, after she’s departed, she says, “even Lot had to leave Sodom and Gomorrah.”

Recently, I was at work having lunch with a float pool nurse who claimed to be Christian.  She was telling me her personal view of Jesus and it wasn’t anything like my view. It felt like some distorted Socialist religion where we all must be accepting of everyone as they are, in their sins. She explained, “We are all naturally sinful, we can’t help it.  So, as Christians, we have to accept them, as they are.”  I felt awkward, but I had to disagree.  I believe that once you decide to become a follower of Jesus, you might still have a sinful nature, but you must really do your very best to not sin.  Jesus died to forgive us of our past sins and give us passage to heaven.  He didn’t intend to suffer and sacrifice his life just so that we could continue to live our selfish evil life.  We can’t be perfect, but we can, at least try out best.

(John 8:1-11) Jesus saved a prostitute from being stoned to death.  Afterward, He forgave her and told her to “go and sin no more.”

Unfortunately,  there are many disagreements in religion.  Jesus confronted the Pharisees over differing views of specific verses in the only known Bible of that time.   We all know how that disagreement played out.

Many tend to make up their own version. The Seventh Day Adventists get around this uncomfortable roadblock by claiming that there is no real Hell.  Their version of “Hell” is simply being “separated from God,”   or to be in a place where God isn’t.  I believe differently.  I know that Hell is very real and it’s still hot.  Jesus talks more about Hell than anyone else in the Bible.  (Matthew 10:28, Mark 9:43).  He refers to it as a real place and describes it in graphic terms including raging fires and brimstone, and “the worm that doesn’t die.”  Jesus says the unsaved “will be thrown outside into darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 8:12).

Unfortunately, like my coworker,  there are a lot of people and a lot of churches who claim to be “Christian.”   Most people  like to hear a vanilla, non-confrontational sermon, and then go about their business for another six days.  The church elders love this also.  There’s no hurt feelings and the revenue is steady.   Instead of looking for a Church that teaches truth, many are looking for a church what will allow them to  live the lifestyle that they want to live regardless of how ungodly it really is. There are many churches today that have openly gay ministers preaching the  advantages of the lifestyle.

You can feel that this is not beholding to the teachings of Jesus.  Yes, he did say to “love your neighbor” and to “turn the other cheek.”   Many think that Jesus was only “love and acceptance.”  He said a lot more.

In (Matt 7:21) Jesus even says, “I never knew you” as he spoke about people that were unwilling to repent and live according to the commandments. How and why will “a man’s foes be they of his own household?” Because Christ asks you to take a stand. He asks you which side of the line you’re going to be on…and you prove which side you are on by “keeping the faith”. Everyone and everything is not “ok” or “accepted” by Jesus Christ.  He loves everyone,  but our behaviors have the power to leave us standing at a “door in which He will not open.”

A recent poll found, for every one American who  believed that he or she was destined for Hell, there are 120 who whole heartedly believe that they are going to Heaven. Yet Jesus Christ himself said otherwise.  He said “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few will find it.”  (Matthew 7:13-14)

We should be “loving and compassionate” but we should never allow ourselves to believe that Christ just accepts us how we are. That was never in the program. He’s always asked us to change, to repent, to get better, and to overcome the things that we struggle with. When we quit trying to align our wills with God, and start trying to get God to align His will with ours…that is when we start to lose our way.

Most people don’t want to realize that Hell is a very real place and it is still hot. Sin is still wrong, and the bible is God’s word and Jesus is the only way to salvation.  Knowing this, I believe that, in the end, there will be a huge number of unfortunate people that will be in for a really big surprise… some of which might have even call themselves “Christian.”

 

 

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