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.