Serious as a Heart Attack

Our Fourth of July celebration took place in Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, NJ. Technically it all started in my bathroom late in the afternoon, when I went to brush my teeth and went crashing to the ground. I say crashing, but I have no discernable bruises on my head or body giving me any indication that I fell, unrestrained to the floor, but there it is. I was out like a light–no pulse.

My sweet wife, Corinne, started to give me mouth to mouth.  Shortly thereafter, Sarah, my daughter who works with the public and is trained in CPR for her job, took charge having already called 911.

In a few minutes the ambulance and a fleet of police cars showed up at the house, and the pro’s got to work on me.

“Clear”–zap–“clear”–zap, and off I went to the hospital.

I’d love to tell you all my wonderful story of bright lights, mansions, falling down at Jesus’ feet, and being dragged back kicking and screaming into this mortal life, but I have no memories of any of that. In fact, my actual memories don’t kick in until late Friday, though I was conscious by 7 or 8 pm on the 4th.

They tell me I put up a fight. The doctor came out and told my family that I was kicking and fighting while they were trying to put a stent in my right coronary artery. They all kind of laughed and the Dr. said it was not funny. Hmmm–I guess I really didn’t want to be there.

I have a photo of the blockage and it’s pretty dramatic. The right coronary artery feeds the right side of the heart. It’s the smaller side of the heart because its only job is to pump blood to the lungs.

They inserted a stent and sent me into recovery. I hung out in the hospital until Sunday, and now I’m working on getting follow up visits scheduled, and generally hanging out. The only real restrictions they put on me was that I lift nothing greater than 10 lbs.

Many of you heard about this, and have been praying for me. I can’t say thank you enough. You have no idea how strong the love of Christ shows through His body until you find yourself in a bad place.

For those of you who only know me here in blog-land, I wanted to share just a bit of my fun Fourth of July festivities with you. (For the record, I don’t recommend it.)

cropped-BenHeadshotThanks for all the love and prayers,

Love you all,

Ben

Are You Ready? – A book review

Hi all,

Are you looking for a good summer read? Today I want to recommend a wonderful book. My dear blogging friend Felecia Clarke authored a wonderful memoir. Here’s my Amazon Review – 5 stars all the way!


I just finished reading Felecia Clarke’s wonderful memoir, Are You Ready? Clarke’s mastery of language brings her life to life in your hands. Her storytelling style often had me look up to ask a question or probe an event as if she was sitting in the room with me.

Her descriptions of her childhood in Connecticut grabbed me. Through the clarity of her prose and vivid imagery I could almost smell the fresh outdoors and musty church basements.

Her life takes many twists and turns which had me cheering and gasping. I laughed out loud, fretted for her safety, held my breath, and shed a few tears.

There are a number of asides in the midst of the story where Clarke steps back and ponders a relationship or a choice or a circumstance beyond her control adding a layer to the narrative that draws the reader deeper into her mind and heart.

By the end of the story, you feel as though you’ve been friends with the Felecia for a lifetime.


Here’s the Amazon Blurb:

Believing herself to be a Christian didn’t stop Felecia from spending years running away from God. She followed her own brand of spiritualism, walking a strange and treacherous road through a maze of sex and drugs, living as she liked. Until her world came crashing down. When she lost everything, she realized she had nowhere else to turn but to God . . . and just in the nick of time. Felecia discovered God had never left her side and had been asking all along, “Are You Ready?” She never knew that she needed a Savior, and she finally answered “Yes!” to His definitive question. In this spiritual, coming-of-age memoir, Felecia delights with humor and sorrow, sharing the best and worst of her life and how God grew her faith so she could survive trials she would face and an on-going fight with cancer.


And finally “About the author – from Felecia’s Author page on Amazon.


About Felecia Clarke

Felecia Clarke likes to say she’s traveled over 150,000 miles in her life, the early years courtesy of her Marine Captain Dad. From North Carolina, to Florida, California, Illinois, New York, and Connecticut; she couldn’t shake the wanderlust and moved on to Colorado, Arizona, and back to Southern Florida, where she currently resides. In the meantime she traveled to over ten countries, some for work but mostly for fun.

Losing her job in the financial downturn of 2008 and the despair of not being able to find another, led her straight back into the arms of God. Her first book, “Are You Ready?” is a result of God’s magnificent mercy and grace. Felecia was finally able to see that God had never left her–even though she had left Him; and had a plan for her all along.


You can find out more about this crazy chick on her site www.feleciaclarke.com


It’s a wonderful read!

BenHeadshotThanks for stopping in.

I hope you’ll give it a read.

Ben

You can pick your copy up here.

Update

Hi all,

As you know if you’ve followed this blog for more than 6 months, this December through some mixup, about five years worth of internet content vanished from my blog. Among the missing were some things like my “who are you?” page and a couple of really significant series.

I have brought my bio page up to date and re-published so you can get an idea about my roots. It’s a stew with some seriously blended flavors, for sure. You can read my bio here.

The good news (from my point of view) is that most of the content is still here in my files, in its rough cut form. My plan is to begin re-releasing some of these past messages to rebuild my blog archive and bless my readers.

First, on the list are my walk through the Sermon on the Mount and the Song of Songs. These were both verse by verse gleanings packed full of my musings, and I think you’ll be blessed.

So keep your eyes open and come over and say hello at my bio.

BenHeadshotThanks for stopping in.

Shine today!

Ben

Image Credit: pngkit.com

 

 

A Saturday Reminiscence

We’ve reached chapter two! YAY!

But guess what. The writer of the book of Hebrews wrote a letter, not a chapter book.

Chapter book, tee-hee. The first time I ever heard of a chapter book,  my kids were in grade school. It was a huge step up. They moved from Dr. Seuss–with no chapters–to Captain Underpants. Frankly, I think we had more to learn from the good doctor than the underdressed superhero. But I digress…

I’ve been a big fan of audio Bibles for a long time.

Long before portable CD players or books on tape or cars with anything more than radios, my mother used to read the bible and record it onto cassette tapes. My father traveled for a living and spent long hours driving up and down the middle Atlantic states.

So they bought a battery powered cassette recorder/player, and my mom would sit down at the dining room table and read the Bible into the machine.

When my dad hit the road, he would pack up some spare batteries and take the player and a shoebox full of cassette tapes. As he tooled up and down Rt 95 he’d be renewing his mind.

Oh, how I wish I knew what happened to those tapes. They probably went the way of the landfill when my mom moved out of her home and into her apartment.

How I would love to hear her voice reading the scriptures. (No offense to Mr. Scourby, or any of you other readers.) But what could be more comforting than hearing the voice that brought me Winnie the Pooh and the Chronicles of Naria reading to me about the destruction of Nineveh in Nahum, or Elijah chopping the false prophets into little pieces?

But seriously, I would love to have Muth’s voice reading through the Psalms. What a great way to spend my commute to work.

Back to my point. It’s great to listen through a book of the Bible. It’s super helpful to understand the overall themes of the book and get a feel for the real point the author is trying to make.

So as we move into Chapter 2 (next week) we’ll find it starts with a “For.” Maybe we’ll start to get a sense of where we’re going!

See you Monday with a step into Chapter 2.

BenHeadshotThanks for coming by and listening to me reminisce.

Love you,

Ben

By the way, if you’d like to see where we’ve been so far in our gleaning through Hebrews, this page has the links to the entire series to date.

A New Start

One day, not too long ago, I went to add a post to my blog and it was GONE. Just gone.

I got to hunting and calling and discovering and learning. I found that my hosting company went out of business. Sadly I no longer have access to the email address they had for me so I never had any warning about their shutdown plans.

I finally contacted them and they allowed me to download the files on the site. But what I got was not really what I needed to rebuild.

I write most of my articles using Scrivner and so at the very least I have drafts of all my work.

When I went to move my domain to a new host, I found myself chasing wild geese again. It took me a couple weeks just to get my domain over here on Bluehost.

The long and the short of it is–I’m starting over.

I may, over the course of time, republish some of my previous works, such as my verse by verse studies of the Sermon on the Mount and Song of Songs. I’ll get some of my stories back out there, too.

But for the most part, I’m starting over.

I’m not really sure if all the people who have subscribed for updates will need to re-sign up or not. If you get an email – you’re good to go. If not – feel free to sign up for email notices again.

Thanks for coming by. I’ll be writing again soon.

Blessing,

Ben