Saturday, December 08, 2007

Technonerd Forever

Well, my latest project at home is redesigning my network. I have downloaded the Astaro security gateway, which is FREE for home use! You get web filtering, virus scanning, firewall, etc. You can even setup a DMZ (for the nerdier out there, I'll probably do it just for the heck of it). This will come in handy since my kids are on the computers every chance they get. I especially like the web filtering, since I can block whole categories, kind of like Websense.

I just got done rewiring my entire office. Of course I had to move furniture, and do some creative rigging, but it's done. Looks better, and it will work better when I am completely done with my network redesign and performance tuning my Astaro box. I must be crazy.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Another Great Quote

"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." --Thomas A. Edison

Monday, October 15, 2007


"To win without risk is to triumph without glory." --Pierre Corneille

"If you don't risk anything you risk even more." --Unattributed

"You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through." --Rosalynn Carter

Monday, September 24, 2007

A Special Anniversary

September 24th is a special day to me. In 1999, this was the day that I prayed and accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. I had gone through 21 of my 30 years thinking I had already done this, but the conviction I felt on that day in 1999 told me otherwise. Statistics say that it is highly unlikely that one will become a Christian if they don't do so before the teen years. The advantage that I had was a childhood in church learning about Jesus. I had always, as long as I could remember, believed that Jesus was real, that He had come to Earth and died for me, and had raised from the dead. I believed it in my head, but not in my heart. Eight years ago today, that knowledge transferred to my heart and into my entire being. It hasn't been a perfect ride - Christ never promised that - but I can truly say that the Lord has been there every step of the way. I wish I could say that I have been as loyal to Him as He has been to me. All I have to say about that is, thank God for grace.

Search your heart. If you don't know Christ, follow this link to get more information on what that means. Or, leave me a comment, and I would love to talk with you about it. My comments are moderated, so if you want to keep it confidential, please say so and I will not post the comment.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mini Me

Mini me wearing my EMT boots. My Mom says he is EXACTLY like me when I was small. Lord help me.

Friday, September 21, 2007


"Even if you fall flat on your face at least you are moving forward." --Sue Luke

Thursday, September 20, 2007

New Feature, and Other Stuff

Every once in a while, just to mix things up, I add a new widget in the right column on this blog. My newest addition is my upcoming reading list. Click on the links to take you to and view the description of the book. I'll only list books that I have purchased (probably), and have intent to actually read. The speed at which I go through books varies. Sometimes I can read about one a week or maybe a couple if they are of the shorter variety. Other times, it might take a while. Witness how long I have had Wheel of Time Book 4 listed in my "Currently Reading" widget!

By the way, I am starting a new job on October 1st! Good job, good pay, nice people - can't complain. God is good. He has given me a peace about this position so I feel like everything is going to be OK. I'm ready to get back into a normal - if there is such a thing - schedule. My running schedule has been non-existent and I am itching to get back to 25 miles a week. I feel so much better when I run. Check out the article I listed in "My Google Reader Shared Items". You have to be a runner to really get it. To me, one of the great advantages of running is that it is very peaceful and I can commune with the Lord, especially during a longer run. Think about it, wouldn't you be communing with God during a 15+ mile run?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Things Don't Always Play Out Like You Expect

It's no secret but in case you have not heard, Jamie and I have come to the conclusion that med-school is NOT the right direction for our family. So, now I am very excited that I am going back into my first career love - computers. Yes, we prayed hard about it and have a peace that a career in medicine is not the Lord's will and I have no regrets. This was one of those cases where I told God that I would move forward and if He told me to stop at ANY point, I would do so on a dime. He has a reason for all things. Sometimes I believe He has you move down a difficult path with an uncertain future just to test and see if you are willing.

Bottom line, my family needs me to be involved with them for the next 8 years. The pre-med program that I started was really just a test case to see what the load would be and if we could balance family and school. After a few weeks, and completing the first class, it became obvious that it was one or the other, not both. In any scenario, I'll always choose what is best for my family.

The great thing is that I have planned all along to use my EMT certification as an extra skill for leading mission trips. It's a win either way.

Now, as I mentioned, I'm excited about getting back into an Information Technology career full-time. The really good thing is that I still was able to stay up on my technical skills at the church, since that was one of my many responsibilities, so there was really no lapse of continuity. OK, now you can start with the geek and nerd comments, I've heard them all. I'm teaching myself Cisco at this point, and plan to take the tests necessary to earn my CCNA certification. I'm also thinking about expanding my systems administration knowledge to Unix and Linux platforms. One thing at a time, however. Cisco is first, and very much in demand.

Until next time: Please pray for me in my job search that I would find the exact job that God wants me to have. Peace...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Test the Limits

I'm still here!!

So, I've recently been intrigued by the story of Steve Prefontaine, arguably one of the most dynamic characters in American running ever. Interesting fellow. If he truly ran, and lived, as his coach Bill Bowerman described in his all to premature eulogy, then he is an inspiration.

Eulogy by Bill Bowerman following Steve Prefontaine's untimely death on May 30, 1975:

"All my life, man and boy, I've operated under the assumption that the main idea in running was to win the race. Naturally, when I became a coach I tried to teach people how to do that. Tried to teach Pre how to do that. Tried like hell to teach Pre to do that. And Pre taught me. Taught me I was wrong. Pre, you see, was troubled by knowing that a mediocre effort can win a race and a magnificent effort can lose one. Winning a race wouldn't necessarily demand that he give it everything he had from start to finish. He never ran any other way. I couldn't get him to, and God knows I tried . . . but . . . Pre was stubborn. He insisted on holding himself to a higher standard than victory. 'A race is a work of art' is what he said and what he believed and he was out to make it one every step of the way.

Of course he wanted to win. Those who saw Pre compete or who competed against him were never in doubt how much he wanted to win. But HOW he won mattered to him more. Pre thought I was a hard case. But he finally got it through my head that the real purpose of running isn't to win a race. It's to test to the limits of the human heart. That he did . . . No one did it more often. No one did it better."

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Just a Short Break

As everyone has probably noticed (if you are still checking), I haven't been blogging much lately. Well, I have a bit of a break today, so I thought I would take advantage of the time:

It has been a whirlwind several months. As you may know, I started my EMT training in late February. Great news! I finished with my EMT-I two weeks ago, and am now working with a local private ambulance service called ProCare EMS. In fact, I'm at Starbucks right now waiting on a patient pick-up appointment. Not a bad deal, huh. There's a bit of a catch. Because of school, I can only work certain days. So, since my schedule is so weird, I am working two 16 hour shifts on consecutive days. It's not as bad as it sounds! I just think of all those mission trips I led and slept minimally for 10 days or more. Two days is a breeze.

My pre-med program is going well so far. I just finished my first class (Chemistry I) on Thursday, and found out last night that I received and A on both the class and the lab!! Thank the Lord! Monday, we start Chem II. I suppose it is a good thing that I always enjoyed chemistry, for some crazy reason. It's surprising how much I remembered after almost 20 years! Oh, I have to tell you a funny story.

On the first day of class, my professor had us all introduce ourselves and give our ages. He was obviously going to use the data to illustrate a point, so we all played along. He asked for a volunteer to start, and of course I was more than happy to go first. After 14 other classmates told their stories in the nutshell, I realized (as I figured would be the case) that I was the oldest in the class by about 7 years. It would have been more like 17 years had there not been another couple of "older" non-traditional pre-meds in the class! That was funny enough to me, but the clincher was when I asked the professor later how old he was: 32! Remember, I'm 38. I just had to snicker to myself. The great thing is, my classmates are cool, and the incoming pre-med folks that I will be in the progam with for the next year are a lot of fun. To top it all off, our professor is not only an excellent teacher, but he is also quite a nice guy. Not a bad start.

Jamie and the kids are doing well. They are on their way back from Florida on what was going to be our family vacation this year. For obvious reasons, I wasn't able to go. Not to worry, I have a break in August, and we are going to take full advantage of it. They have been gone all week, so I am excited to see them. I had forgotten what it was like to be a bachelor. It has it's advantages, I suppose, but I wouldn't want to go there again!! I have missed my wife and kids.

That's about it for now. I'll update again as I can. Many blessings to all!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Ya'll Shore Will Luv This 'Un

I couldn't resist. I wish I had thought of this. Larry the Cable Guy would be proud.

The Hillbilly's Ten Commandments (posted on the wall at Cross Trails Church in Gainesboro, TN.)

(1) Just one God
(2) Put nothin' before God
(3) Watch yer mouth
(4) Git yourself to Sunday meetin'
(5) Honor yer Ma & Pa
(6) No killin'
(7) No foolin' around with another fellow's gal
(8) Don' t take what ain't yers
(9) No tellin' tales or gossipin'
(10) Don't be hankerin' for yer buddy's stuff

Now that's kinda plain an' simple, don't ya think? Y'all have a nice day.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Sometimes you just get a lesson in humility. The Bible says:

"First pride, then the crash— the bigger the ego, the harder the fall." (Pr. 16:18, MSG)

Just when you think you know all there is to know; just when you think you are a peg above others around you -- that's when you feel the full force of this verse. Sometimes it can be devastating, others it is just a lesson learned after which you become a far better person. I always prefer the latter. Either way, being humbled by the Lord is painful. Fortunately, our Lord's correction is because he dearly cares for us.

I have four children, and they are precious to me. One thing that I absolutely despise is having to discipline them. It hurts me to see them hurt, and when I am punishing them I am the source of their pain. The old cliche is absolutely true, "This hurts me more than it hurts you." As a child, you have no comprehension of that statement, and you scoff at every word. Scoff all you want, it doesn't make it less true.

As a Dad, I comprehend a very tiny sample of what God feels like when He has to chastise me. He's NOT some big tyrant sitting up in Heaven just looking for a reason to blast you with the biggest lightning bolt He can muster. He is a God who hurts when He has to correct us. He would much rather take us in His arms and say, "I'm so pleased with you my child."

My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline,
and don’t be upset when he corrects you.
For the Lord corrects those he loves,
just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights. (Pr. 3:11-12, NLT)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Focus On Him

You may have already realized that my favorite devotional is Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. God has used it more times than I could say to speak to me, second only to the Bible itself in that regard. Today's entry was particularly encouraging to me, and I hope it is to you as well.

May 18, 2007
Living Simply - Yet Focused

Look at the birds of the air . . . . Consider the lilies of the field . . . —Matthew 6:26, 28

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin"— they simply are! Think of the sea, the air, the sun, the stars, and the moon— all of these simply are as well— yet what a ministry and service they render on our behalf! So often we impair God’s designed influence, which He desires to exhibit through us, because of our own conscious efforts to be consistent and useful. Jesus said there is only one way to develop and grow spiritually, and that is through focusing and concentrating on God. In essence, Jesus was saying, "Do not worry about being of use to others; simply believe on Me." In other words, pay attention to the Source, and out of you "will flow rivers of living water" (John 7:38). We cannot discover the source of our natural life through common sense and reasoning, and Jesus is teaching here that growth in our spiritual life comes not from focusing directly on it, but from concentrating on our Father in heaven. Our heavenly Father knows our circumstances, and if we will stay focused on Him, instead of our circumstances, we will grow spiritually— just as "the lilies of the field."

The people who influence us the most are not those who detain us with their continual talk, but those who live their lives like the stars in the sky and "the lilies of the field"— simply and unaffectedly. Those are the lives that mold and shape us.

If you want to be of use to God, maintain the proper relationship with Jesus Christ by staying focused on Him, and He will make use of you every minute you live— yet you will be unaware, on the conscious level of your life, that you are being used of Him.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I'm Still Alive

It has been a while. Things are a bit crazy right now. My orientation for the pre-med program I am attending is next week, and classes start the following Tuesday. It doesn't seem possible. I'm still asking myself if I have completely lost it. That is, assuming that I ever had it to start with.

I only have a few weeks left on my EMT-I training, and its the most intensive. Clinicals, practicals, multiple exams, coupled with the fact that I will have a two week overlap of the two classes. Should be interesting to say the least. More updates soon.

Friday, April 27, 2007

But He's Large!

One of my favorite movies of all time is "Popeye" with Robin Williams and Shelley Duvall. Yes, I'm insane. I suppose I have seen it at least 50 times, but not in a long time. Well, Jamie and the kids gave me the DVD for my birthday yesterday. Too cool. This clip cracks me up!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Too Darn Funny

OK, so I didn't get a chance to update over the weekend. I think I will just start from here!

If you haven't seen this, you gotta take a look.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Cast on Him Your Burdens

I'm still here! I'm going to post several entries hopefully this weekend to get caught up. However, for today, I just had to share something. Today's "Utmost for His Highest":

April 13
What To Do When Your Burden Is Overwhelming

Cast your burden on the Lord . . . —Psalm 55:22

We must recognize the difference between burdens that are right for us to bear and burdens that are wrong. We should never bear the burdens of sin or doubt, but there are some burdens placed on us by God which He does not intend to lift off. God wants us to roll them back on Him— to literally "cast your burden," which He has given you, "on the Lord . . . ." If we set out to serve God and do His work but get out of touch with Him, the sense of responsibility we feel will be overwhelming and defeating. But if we will only roll back on God the burdens He has placed on us, He will take away that immense feeling of responsibility, replacing it with an awareness and understanding of Himself and His presence.

Many servants set out to serve God with great courage and with the right motives. But with no intimate fellowship with Jesus Christ, they are soon defeated. They do not know what to do with their burden, and it produces weariness in their lives. Others will see this and say, "What a sad end to something that had such a great beginning!"

"Cast your burden on the Lord . . . ." You have been bearing it all, but you need to deliberately place one end on God’s shoulder. ". . . the government will be upon His shoulder" ( Isaiah 9:6 ). Commit to God whatever burden He has placed on you. Don’t just cast it aside, but put it over onto Him and place yourself there with it. You will see that your burden is then lightened by the sense of companionship. But you should never try to separate yourself from your burden.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Maybe Next Time

So, I didn't run the ING GA Marathon this weekend. I got off track in my training and decided it was probably a good idea to sit this one out - there's always next year!

I'm re-reading a book that has really inspired me in the last few months. It's title is The Barbarian Way by Erwin McManus. God keeps bringing the following quote to my mind:

Instead of concluding it is best to be wherever God wants us to be, we have decided that wherever it is best for us to be is where God wants us. Actually, God's will for us is less about our comfort than it is about our contribution. God would never choose for us safety at the cost of significance. God created you so that your life would count, not so that you could count the days of your life.

It is so easy to take the safe road. In fact, it can be a temptation of the enemy. If God has chosen for me a difficult path, and I waver and take a safe path, I am being disobedient! God never promised that everything would be easy. I'm learning that one at an all new level.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Unflinching Trust

I finally finished "Ruthless Trust" by Brennan Manning, which I highly recommend. I wanted so share a particularly poignant passage from the book. The Lord has brought this to my mind lately as doubts and fears have grown.

"To live without risk is to risk not living," my paternal grandma used to say. The way of trust is risky business, no doubt about it. To change careers suddenly because one feels unfulfilled, to assume energy-depleting care of elderly parents, to retreat for three days of silence and solitude with Jesus without climbing the walls, to volunteer for a summer in the sub-Sahara with only meager spiritual resources, to take an unpopular position with rumblings of fear in the background, to conquer disillusionment when one finds untrustworthiness where least expected--all these challenges require a willingness to risk a journey into the unknown and a readiness to trust God even in the darkness.

A person should not act impulsively, of course. A careful discernment process involving family, friends, and a spiritual mentor should precede every major decision. But when the appropriate time comes, only the disciple with an unflinching trust in God will dare to risk. And that trust is not naive; it knows that the possibility of making a mistake and getting hurt is very real. But without exposure to potential failure, there is no risk. (emphasis mine)

Wonderful insight. I just pray that the Lord will give me the strength to have that "unflinching trust" in Him.

Friday, March 16, 2007

EMT-I, Here We Go

I passed the comprehensive exam! EMT-I class starts in a couple of weeks. Woohoo!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Big Things Happening

Today I found out that I have been accepted to Agnes Scott's pre-med program! Now all I have to do is figure out how to pay for it and continue to support our family. No big deal, huh. Well, the Lord works miracles, and this will certainly be one! The big plus is that AS allows you to defer for one year if necessary to get your affairs in order. I'm excited about the possibilities!

Tonight I finally took Gwinnett Tech's comprehensive exam, and it was tough. In fact, I would say that it was harder than the NREMT exam. Actually, that makes me feel better about EMS in Georgia, since it seems that their training is held at a high standard. I should find out tomorrow how I did. If I don't pass it, I can't take the class!

A lot of things seem to have come together very quickly this week. Some big decisions are going to have to be made in the next couple of weeks.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Small World

I had a great interview today for a Network Administrator position. It turned out that the hiring manager used to work with Lucent, also my alma mater. The cool thing was, he had chosen my resume before he realized that we were both Lucent guys. I much prefer being considered on the basis of what I know versus who I know. My prayer is that the Lord would open up the door if this is where He wants me. If this comes through, I would likely take pre-med classes at night. That would probably take 2+ years, not to mention the "glide-year" while applying to med school. Of course, all of that is if I don't get accepted to Agnes Scott's pre-med program and/or can't come up with the money to attend. I'm trusting the Lord to show me the right direction. Prayers are appreciated!!

Things have slowed down a bit. Only one exam in sight for the next few weeks. I have to pass the comprehensive exam tomorrow at Gwinnett Tech so I can join in the current class to get my EMT-Intermediate training.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Keep On Knockin'

It was good to be back in church today. I've missed 3 Sundays because of my trip to Cali. Larry Wynn's sermon was about prayer and how we, as Christians, MUST take this activity seriously. I admit, I don't pray enough and I was challenged. Larry used Luke 11 as his scripture, and one particular passage really stood out to me:

And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

“You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him. (Luke 11:9-13, NLT)

The Lord really knows how to encourage a fella, huh. Have you considered lately what an incredible God we serve?

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Time for a Nap

Church History exam number 2 is complete. Hallelujah! I'll sleep good tonight.

Have you ever felt like you were being tested? Sometimes God gives you a direction, with minimal details, and you move forward. Invariably, doubt and discouragement hits from seemingly nowhere. You have to ask yourself, is it God who causes that? No way. In times like that, think of verses such as:

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you. (Deut. 31:8, NLT)

This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9, NLT)

Then David continued, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. (1 Chron. 28:20a, NLT)

Friday, March 09, 2007

More Study!

Tomorrow at about 9:30am, I will be a happy man. The only other exam I THINK I have until April 14th is the comprehensive exam at Gwinnett Tech. Praise the Lord!!

I'm still applying for IT jobs, just so I can keep my options open. I have a couple of awesome prospects! It's not clear yet whether I will be going full-time or part-time to complete my pre-med requirements. The great thing about the program at Agnes Scott is that they will allow me to defer for one year if necessary. That gives me a lot of flexibility. One possibility is that I can work full-time for the next year or so, and get some clinical experience at a part-time EMT gig. That way, I could bank as much cash as possible and get my financial aid figured out.

Please help us pray about our direction for the next year, particularly the big decisions that will have to be made in the next couple months. Thanks SO MUCH to everyone that has already been praying and encouraging us. I love you guys!

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Argghh! Did I mention that I have had a lot of exams lately!? Today, I spent several hours preparing for my Church History exam on Saturday morning. Have I mentioned that I am taking that class? It's once a month on a Saturday (all day). I'm only 7 credits away from my masters degree, so there is no way I'm going to give up now. It may take me a few more years to get it done, but I feel like the Lord wants me to finish it.

The funny thing is that as I have gotten a bit older, and hopefully wiser, I have realized that I love reading history. If you want to read an EXCELLENT book about the American Revolution, try David McCullough's "1776". I tore through that book in just a few days.

By the way, I passed my NREMT certification test! I'm now a certified EMT-B. Next step: get licensed with the state of GA.

Back to the books...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Exams, Exams, and More Exams

Today I took the NREMT certification exam. It's an computer based adaptive test, so it was a bit more dificult than I expected. Supposedly, the test adapts to your skill level and asks you harder questions based on your ability. I should find out tomorrow how I did.

I also found out I have to take a 'comprehensive exam' to get in the EMT program at Gwinnett Tech. I've taken more exams in the last 6 weeks than I have in the last couple years! Better get used to it, huh.

Monday, March 05, 2007


Man, that class took more out of me than I thought! I was flat wore-out today. I did accomplish some important stuff, though.

While I was in California, I found out that you must be an EMT-I to ride an ambulance in Georgia. So, my first order of business when I got home was to start the process of applying to Gwinnett Tech so I can get the intermediate training that I need to get the next level of certification. The final, late application deadline is the 16th. It'll be cutting it close!

The Intermediate class will only go to June, and I will get to do about 30 hours of clinical time. EMT-I's have to be trained to do intubations, IVs, administer certain medications, and other advanced life-saving procedures. We actually get to 'practice' at the hospital and clinics on patients. I know, it sounds scary, but I'm sure it's with the consent of the patient.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Type No Evil, Click No Evil, Browse No Evil, & Jeff

So, I've been accused of being a computer nerd, but I've never done this. Check out what I spied at LAX during my layover on my way home. Four folks all in a row, identical computers. Anyway, I thought it was funny.

It was a GREAT trip home! The nice Delta clerk at LAX upgraded me to first-class; I wish I could always fly that way. Do you remember the Seinfeld episode "The Airport" where Jerry had a first-class seat and Elaine got stuck in coach? Reality ain't that far from their depiction, but I had an empty seat next to me. That was cool, I just chilled and watched "Rocky Balboa" on my personal LCD screen. It was a really good movie, by the way.

By the way, my EMT class ended quite well. I learned a LOT! Not only that, but it was a great group of folks, and as always I enjoyed getting to know everyone. I'll go and take the NREMT Exam this week. Now, I'm going to catch up on my sleep!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Almost There

Today was a much easier day. We got done at around 3pm, and I was able to pack for home! The only thing I have left is the final exam tomorrow morning. I feel better already.

Now I have to find at least a part-time gig so I can use my new skills. I have to get my EMT-I before I can work on an ambulance crew in GA, which will take a couple of months at community school. No biggie. In the meantime, I am hoping to get a job at an ER or something like that.

All that's left is passing the NREMT test. I'm going to give it my best shot next week!

Thursday, March 01, 2007


I passed the practicals today! If you have a "critical fail" on any of the six assessments, you have a chance to do them over. I got them all on the first try! WOOHOO!

Tomorrow morning is Exam #5, and then Saturday morning is the big, bad final. Supposedly, it will be very similar to what we will experience on the NREMT certification test. At a whopping 150 questions, it will be a lot of fun - if you're into that sort of thing.

The VERY cool thing is that in almost exactly 48 hours from the time I am writing this entry, I will be landing back in Atlanta. Home sweet home. It'll be great to see Jamie and the kids. Rebekah had a meltdown tonight when I talked to her and told me "I just can't take it anymore! I want you to come home now!" It's great to be loved.

One last thought: Someone said a very cool thing to me today after my first practical, which was the trauma assessment. Trauma is one of the two most involved assessments we do, for obvious reasons. I was the second in my group to volunteer to complete a scenario. What happens is, you walk outside and the proctor sets up a trauma scenario with another student. That student acts it out, and it's my job to ascertain what the injuries are and treat them accordingly while keeping in mind the criticality of rapid transport. My patient had a compound fracture of the left leg and pain in his abdomen after a MVA. My assessment went smoothly, and I felt really good about it. After it was over, the proctor asked what I thought was wrong with the patient (she asked me afterwards because an EMT's job is not really diagnosis). I said that it was probably an abdominal bleed, and I was right! One of my classmates, who is a very nice lady a bit older than I said, "Bill, you should be a doctor." It doesn't sound like much, but that really encouraged me.

On that note, the sandman is calling.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Finished Day 11

My ride along was mostly uneventful today. We transported 3 patients classified in California as 5150, which basically means that they were on an involuntary phychiatric hold. In any case, it was interesting to see how things work on a BLS bus. I did get to take vitals on 2 of the patients, which was an experience. There will likely be many more opportunities for me to do so.

Tomorrow we have our practicals. That is basically running through scenarios and demonstrating that we can follow the correct medical procedure. I'll be glad when it is done, since it's a little stressful.

I'm getting homesick. There's something magic about 10 days. I always tried to keep my mission trips under 10 days, because if you went more than that strange things happened. I just completed day 11, so I am hoping for the best for day 12, 13, and 14.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Tomorrow morning is my chance to do a ride along in an ambulance with a crew from AMR. I'm very excited about it. My shift starts at 6am, so needless to say I will be in bed at an early hour tonight.

Class is still going quite well, and my grades are staying up there! The instructor told us that we could certainly pass the NREMT certification test if we do well in the class. That encourages me, since one of the first things I'm going to do next week is take that exam. My life is full of exams lately, what's up with that!!

I'm going to bed.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Psalm 139

For some reason, I felt very discouraged today. I was reading my nightly portion of at least 100 pages in my EMT textbook, and decided that I needed to talk to the Lord for a minute. He reminded me that I had not done enough of that lately.

I told Him, "Lord, I'm discouraged. What am I doing here. Am I doing what you want me to do? Have I missed the boat somewhere?" There was more, but that's the gist of it. I went to open up my Bible, and a piece of paper that I had put in the back cover fell out on the table. It was Psalm 139:

Psalm 139 (NLT)

For the choir director: A psalm of David.

1 O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
2 You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3 You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
4 You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
5 You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!

7 I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
8 If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave, you are there.
9 If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me
and the light around me to become night—
12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.

13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.

17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!

19 O God, if only you would destroy the wicked!
Get out of my life, you murderers!
20 They blaspheme you;
your enemies misuse your name.
21 O Lord, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you?
Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you?
22 Yes, I hate them with total hatred,
for your enemies are my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Enough said.


Today I successfully treated a trauma patient who had fallen off of a bull and was kicked and stepped on. He had a compound fracture of his left femur, and flail chest also on his left torso. I did on-site stabilization, got him on a spine board, and did a rapid transport to the closest hospital while I did a more focused examination and monitored his vitals.

OK, so it was a mock scenario, but it was cool. Hopefully, I'll be able to really help someone in that kind of situation soon. Of course, around here it's more likely to be a redneck who was run over by his 4x4, but who knows.

I seem to be spending a lot of time in classrooms lately. Probably should get used to that, huh.

Saturday, February 24, 2007


Good grief! There is so much to learn, but today marks the end of EMT boot-camp week 1! What a whirlwind. I'm getting about 5 hours of sleep a night and attending about 6-7 hours of class and 4 hours of skills labs each day. Regardless, this stuff is fascinating. It's amazing to see the complexity that God has woven into our human bodies and how they react when damaged. It reminds me of what an awesome God I serve.

The labs are very cool. Today, I learned how to utilize a Kendrick Extrication Device (KED) for extracting a stable patient with possible spine injuries from situations like vehicle collisions. I've included a couple of pictures of my team, "the red team", practicing the use of the KED.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Altered Mental Status

Today was a difficult day for me. We learned about patients who present with what is called an "altered mental status". This is a valuable assessment tool for EMTs and can apply to a wide range of medical issues ranging from trauma to medical events or conditions. Of course, this is one of the indications for strokes.

You probably know, my Dad passed away from a massive stroke last August, so it was very strange to learn the signs, symptoms, physiology, and treatment for someone who has had a stroke. I remember the doctor asking him a bunch of questions over and over, which I now know they were using to determine his level of consciousness. If I am recalling it correctly, once they asked Dad: "How old are you Mr. Sims". "47", he answered (he was 57). "Do you know where you are?" He couldn't really answer that one. "What year is it?" He said something like 1968. "Who is the President, Mr. Sims?" To which he boisterously replied, "GEORGE BUSH!" As weird as it sounds, that will be a good memory of Dad, because I saw HIM in his answer. You just had to be there and know him to get that. Maybe you do get it.

I still miss Dad as much as I did the first few days after he died. I suppose I always will.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

You're My Boy Blue!

Our class's official motto has become, "You're my boy Blue!"

Don't ask me why. It's probably sleep deprivation.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Exam One is Done

We had our first exam in EMT Boot-Camp today. Everyone looked tired, with blood shot eyes and big cups of coffee. I was right there with them.

I think I did well on the test. It's going to be a long week and a half! It'll be worth it, though.

Everyone please pray for Jamie and the kids while I am sequestered away learning!

Sunday, February 18, 2007


Today was the first day of my experience in EMT boot-camp. We spent the day getting certified in CPR for healthcare professionals. It also included some very basic life-saving skills. We'll get deeper into that in the next 2 weeks I'm sure. I highly recommend that EVERYONE get CPR training, especially if you have kids. The American Heart Association certification is what you will want. Just click here to find a course near you.

I've got a LOT of reading to do tonight (about 170 pages)!!!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Off To School

One of the things that I am doing to prepare for application to medical school is Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification. I'm signed up for a "boot camp" in Cali, which runs 12 hours a day for 14 days. That is, not including hours of study each night. I also get some ride along time in an ambulance! Supposedly, I can get my NREMT certification for EMT-Basic afterward. I know one thing: I'm committed and will learn absolutely everything that I can. My goal is to be able to work in an ER or on with an ambulance service in Gwinnett county while getting some pre-med coursework under my belt. It should be interesting.

I'll post more updates when (and if) I get the time!


Why do I do these kind of things to myself?

I mentioned a few entries ago that I was going to do the "Run the Reagan" half-marathon. Well, I did and it was an awesome race again this year. Unfortunately there is more to the story.

My buddy David and I had just finished the porta potty drill, and were headed to the start line when we hear the announcer say “about 2 minutes left”. Then I heard him say something about race numbers. Have you ever had one of those moments? Realization hit me, and I looked down to see NO race number on my running jacket. I LEFT IT IN THE VAN a quarter mile away. I told David to go on without me and took off. I ran all the way back to the van, put on the number, ran back to the start. You know a real friend when you brain fart at a race and they stand and wait on you for 4 whole minutes so they can run with you. You're a good man Dave. We started 4 minutes late, but it was cool. Not just in a L.L. Cool J kind of way, if you know what I mean! Actually, the temp was quite nice after about a mile.

Stuff like that'll keep you humble.

Friday, February 16, 2007


It's done! I completed the GRE today. Didn't do too bad, I think. (1240; 640 Quantitative, 600 Verbal) I suppose that is good. All I know is that it is above what I needed for the pre-med program that I am applying for. Like Forest Gump said, "One less thang."

Saturday, February 10, 2007

In Class

Thank the Lord for wireless access! It makes the day go quicker (I think) when you have an all day Church History class on a beautiful Saturday. I studied diligently for our exam this morning, and it went quite well. One goof up -- I figured out I had the wrong textbook! Luckily, history is basically history. I ordered the correct text, and no harm done.

Instructor's back, I better pay attention!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Still Busy, Can You Believe It?

You'd think that I'd be a lot less busy now that I'm not working a full-time job. Yeah, right! That's not a bad thing, though. I would certainly go more crazy if I didn't have things to occupy my time.

I'm taking "Church History" at LRU this semester. The good thing about that is I LOVE history. So far, the reading is absolutely fascinating. I have the textbook in my "Currently Reading" box to the right if you are interested. The only bad thing about the class is exams. Argh! If you want to read a really intersting story, look up Charles Martel ("The Hammer") and the Battle of Tours. Good stuff.

One of my other current challenges is knocking off the cobwebs in my brain when it comes to standardized tests. In particular, the GRE. Surprisingly, I remember a lot of math, and my vocabulary is quite good. However, I still have a lot of work to do! Many hours of study so far, and many more to come. Click on this link to see how much you remember; you may be surprised.

Even bigger than these challenges, is trying to figure out the finances of providing for our family and attending a pre-med program, possibly full-time. Please pray for us in this. I know the Lord is going to take care of everything, it would just be nice to know how! That makes me think of a scripture I read last night:

It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith. (Hebrews 11:8-9a, NLT)

Lord, give me the faith of Abraham!

That's all for now. Many blessings, everyone.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

On To The Next Chapter...

So, it's completely official now. My family and I are embarking on a new chapter in our lives. I've been diligently researching medical school, and what it takes to get there. It's a long story, but we've got lots of time. In case you haven't seen it, here is the letter that I wrote for Sugarloaf. It says it all:

January 30, 2007

Sugarloaf Community Church
1401 Old Peachtree Road
Suwanee, GA 30024

Dear Sugarloaf family,
You may have already heard that I am no longer on staff with Sugarloaf Community Church, but I wanted you to hear that officially from me. Don’t worry; everything is fine! Our family is happy and healthy as ever, and God is so good to us. The reason for our departure is as simple as this: the Lord is just taking our family in a radically different direction from what we ever would have imagined. Doesn’t He have a way of doing that sometimes?

It had become increasingly evident in the last year that the direction that God was taking our family was changing. Boy, is that an understatement! I won’t go into all the details, but the bottom line is that I feel God leading me into a career in medicine. This is something I have had a strong desire to do since high school, but God has His own perfect timing. With His help I hope to use that kind of expertise, whatever form it takes, in the mission field. As you know, I have traveled around the world while at Sugarloaf, and have seen the needs of the world first hand. I sense that Lord has work for our family to do there, and we just want to be obedient to His call. Not too long after I accepted Christ (at age 30) my consistent prayer was, “Lord, use me wherever, however, and whenever you want.” Now is really where the proverbial rubber meets the road.

There is NO way that I could ever say in a letter how much Jamie and I adore the people of Sugarloaf Community Church. You are part of our family. We have laughed, cried, served, and grown together over the last 5 years, and we will never forget that. Make no mistake, we love you!

We have so many friends at SCC, so we hope to continue those relationships which have come to mean so much to us. Please don’t hesitate to come by, or give us a call, or an e-mail! Also, you can keep track of what’s up by periodically checking my Blog at I promise I will try to keep it up to date.

Again, I love all of you, and I wish you all the very best in the Lord.

Many blessings,
Pastor Bill

Enjoy the winter wonderland tomorrow morning, and be careful out there!

Monday, January 29, 2007

He Cares

SO much to talk about, but now that it is about midnight, I think I will forego any long discourses until later.

I've been thinking a lot lately of how God takes an interest in the smallest details of our lives. One of the passages in the Bible, which has given me great comfort is:

What is the price of two sparrows-one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. (Matt 10:29-31, NLT)

JESUS said this. Think about it. Of all the millions of creatures; sparrows, horses, dogs, cats, duck-billed platypuses; God knows when even one of them dies -- and He cares! We are the apple of His eye; the pinnacle of His creation. How much more does He care for us?! If He has the hairs on our heads numbered, does He not care when we are down? Does He not care when we have upheavel in our lives? Does He not care when we feel far from Him because of our own misguided actions? The answer to that question is in Matt 10. He cares more than we can know.

Monday, January 22, 2007


Signed up for the "Run the Reagan" half-marathon today. I'm very excited about that. Last year I ran it, and it was COLD, but I did get a personal record (2:07)! The temperature didn't matter; I enjoy running in the cold, that is after about a mile when I warm up. I'm going to use it as a training run for the ING Georgia Marathon in March. That should be interesting...

Come join me on one of these! I promise it'll be lots of fun.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Times, They Are A Changin'

OK, so Blogger support finally responded and fixed the problem I was having. At least they did respond! The funny thing was that I received a request to do a short survey on my support experience. I got a good chuckle from that one. The even funnier thing was the question regarding the response time. Too bad it was multiple choice instead of free-form text. Then again, this IS free!

A lot of changes are going on in my family right now. I am no longer on staff at the church where I served for a bit over 4 years. However, the Lord is giving us a vision for the future that is exciting and doggone scary at the same time. I'll talk more about this in future posts. In the meantime, please pray for us!

For now, I think I will try to make some money in my area of expertise -- computer systems design, administration, support, etc. It'll be good to get back to that for a while. I actually did miss it, surprisingly enough. That shouldn't really surprise me, since my Dad originally got me interested in computers very young when he purchased a Texas Instruments 99/4A. It didn't have a monitor, you just used a converter box to connect it to your TV. I started programming BASIC (on the TI 99/4A, it came on a cartridge kind of like an Atari cartridge) at age 12. Just thinking about it brings back a ton of memories.

It's late, I think I'll go to bed.

20 GOTO 10

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Tech Support Ain't All It Used To Be

In the old days, technical support was all about HELPING the end user. I think Blogger must have forgotten that. I still haven't got a response from their technical people, if there actually are any (the only way you can contact them is through an online form). So, I e-mailed a bunch of folks to let them know of my new address,

If it has been a while since you checked the site, then welcome back! I hope you will come back and enjoy some of my random craziness. I redesigned things a couple of weeks ago, and I hope you like the new setup.

Here are a couple of quotes I came across that you can ponder. Enjoy, and come back soon!

By three methods we may learn wisdom:
first, by reflection, which is noblest;
second, by imitation, which is easiest;
and third, by experience, which is the bitterest.

If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.
--Dolly Parton

Amen, Dolly.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Crazy Pills!

I'm so annoyed. Computers are supposed to make life easier!

My blog is messed up right now, and I have had to contact support to get it fixed. Who knows how long it will take, but I decided I would go ahead and post some stuff.

The good thing is, I will have my own domain name once all of this is fixed -- A lot more flexibility once it's done.

This is completely random, but lately I have felt like Mugatu in the movie "Zoolander". I FEEL LIKE I'M TAKING CRAZY PILLS!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year!

It's been a while, huh.

Well, 2006 is over. I don't know how it went for you, but mine was quite an interesting year. 2007 promises to be even more eventful, if I have my guess. Is that good or bad? We shall see.

Today I started the book "Ruthless Trust" by Brennan Manning. I have a lot of big decisions to make in the next few weeks, and this book has already given me a sense of peace about what is coming. I am learning more about what it truly means to TRUST the Lord with all of our lives. It's funny, but one of my prayers in the last few weeks has been for clarity. Maybe I was praying the wrong prayer. In chapter 1 of Ruthless Trust, Brennan relays the following story:

When the brilliant ethicist John Kavanaugh went to work for three months at "the house of the dying" in Calcutta, he was seeking a clear answer as to how best to spend the rest of his life. On the first morning there, he met Mother Teresa. She asked, "And what can I do for you?" Kavanaugh asked her to pray for him.

"What do you want me to pray for?" she asked. He voiced the request that he had borne thousands of miles from the United States: "Pray that I have clarity."

She said firmly, "No, I will not do that." When he asked her why, she said, "Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of." When Kavanaugh commented that she always seemed to have the clarity he longed for, she laughed and said, "I have never had clarity; What I have always had is trust. So I will pray that you trust God."

My biggest prayer for 2007 is NOT for clarity, as it seemed to be in 2006, it is for TRUST.