Monthly Archives: November 2011

Some Reflections on Being Sick, Part #1

I am having some surprising reflections/thoughts in regard to my last week (which included 6 days in the hospital, surgery, etc). ?I will post more of these thoughts in the coming week.

But here is one of my initial reflections: I AM VERY LUCKY (BLESSED!)

I had access to good doctors, I have good health insurance, and I have good benefits at work and a job that values me as a person.

So what this meant was I got top-notch medical care and what could have been a financial disaster will only be a financial hiccup.

While I haven't seen the total bills yet, but I would estimate that the total expense of this "episode" will be roughly $50,000 (ER visit, 6 days in hospital, surgery, lots of meds, lots of doctors/nurses/etc). ?Again, I don't know how much of that will become my financial liability, but my guess is about $2,000. ?Now I am not someone who has an extra $2000 just sitting around, but I will figure something out. ?It won't be a disaster — just some adjustments to my budget, etc. ?But if I did not have insurance, this would be a financial disaster!

Also, I am lucky that I was able to cover my missed work with sick days and 1 vacation day — which means I won't miss a check, etc. ?My insurance is through work and my job has been great in terms of giving me the time off I need, checking in to see how I am doing, etc.

But if, like millions of Americans, I did not have health insurance — or like millions who work in the restaurant industry, no sick days or paid vacation — this event would be catastrophic for me financially. ?

I got lucky — but lucky is not a basis for good national healthcare policy. ?Just saying…
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Posted by on November 30, 2011 in Uncategorized


Why Young Christians Aren’t Waiting Anymore ? and does it matter?

If you click on the link, you will be taken to a CNN Belief Blog piece about “why young Christians aren’t waiting anymore.” It is an interesting piece and links to a an article on Relevant Magazine, also worth reading.

In modern U.S. evangelicalism, few things seems as “clear” as the basic sexual ethic of “no sex outside of marriage. Period.” This of course means no pre-marital sex.

But as clear as that precept is, what is very unclear is (a) “what is allowed short of sex?” (that famous “how far is too far” question; (b) that many (most?) young evangelicals are not necessarily waiting until marriage; but that (c) some are — and doing so successfully and happily.

I think the underlying assumption/teaching about sexuality is essentially unquestioned by most.

So I want to at least raise the question — and confess that I don’t have a answer to this question and am really interested in different perspectives and thoughts on it.

For a long time now, I have approached this issue less as a sin/not sin issue than a wisdom issue.

I have done this for two reasons. First, as a youth minister being asked by my high school students to point to a verse that says sex outside marriage is sinful, it is not as easy as it sounds. There is not a verse that actually says that. The conviction comes from a construct of a Biblical ethic on human sexuality. Not only is it a bit difficult to explain that idea to a teenager, but i am not sure that we go from “constructed Biblical ethic” to “that is sin.”

The second reason, is I don’t think the sin/not sin discussion is very helpful, especially among teens and others who may or may not be believers. But wisdom is a universal idea and value and makes sense whether you are a believer or not.

So I think the question is about WISDOM — what is the wise thing to do. Which probably means there is not only one answer.

In terms of a Biblical ethic, there are two ways to go about constructing suchh an ethic. The most literal, of course, looks at the Genesis “two-become-one-flesh” statement and builds the ethic from there. We shouldn’t have sex with someone we are not married to because it violates the one-fleshness of a future relationship.

The problem with this approach, I think, is that it is a serious manipulation of the text to fit into our already constructed ethic. The real — and straightforward — reading of the Genesis text is that “when you have sex with someone, you are married to them.” In other words, there is no such thing as pre-marital sex. The problem, then, is not pre-marital sex but essentially polygamy.

While this is probably the best and most straight-forward application of the Genesis passage, for a variety of (wise) reasons, we don’t generally read it that way.

So we must come up with another construct that deals with sex outside marriage (if we want to make the case that it is wrong).

Here, we begin to have to bend and weave verses together in order to arrive at a the conclusion… which may be wisdom, but a long cry from concluding that such activity is sinful.

So what should we counsel single Christians?

Is there a difference between a single 14 year old, 18 year old, 25 year old or 45 year old?

Does the delay of marriage make a difference in our ethics?

Is there a distinction to be made between casual hook ups, “friends with benefits” and committed relationships?

From God’s perspective, does the legal marriage paper actually matter or is it possible that “common law” also works for God?

So lots of questions… searching for wisdom… would love to hear a diversity of thoughts/ideas. Let’s try and have a discussion that doesn’t become ideological or attacking of each other…


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Posted by on November 27, 2011 in Uncategorized


Prayer Request

And a quick prayer request…

I have been in the hospital since Wednesday and will be here at least a few more days.

Long story short, I was feeling feverish and sick over the weekend when I was in NYC with family. I also had developed a large red spot on my back right shoulder. ?So I went to the doctor on Monday, who immediately referred me to a specialist to look at the spot. ?He put me on an anti-biotic and said he wanted to see me in 48 hours (Wed morning). ?Between then and Wed, I got worse — higher fever, the red spot started to puss and ooze, etc. ?When I went in Wed morning, he took one look (less than 30 seconds) and sent to the ER. ?They admitted me, got me on an IV anti-biotic, etc.

Turns out I had a cellulitis/staph infection that was pretty deep and big. ?They aren't sure how I got it (possibly a spider bite, but could also just be a random skin infection or something else). ?On Friday, they did surgery to clean it out and remove an infected cyst way below the skin. ?They essentially had to dig two inches deep into my back to get it all. ?The surgery went very well, but they want to keep me on the IV anti-biotic a few more days to make sure it heals and there is no re-infection. ?It is pretty painful, but the fever is gone, cough is gone, etc etc. So that is good.

Please pray that it all heals well, that I can get out of here on Monday, and hopefully back to work Friday.?

Thanks for your prayers!

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Posted by on November 27, 2011 in Uncategorized


A Blog Update

I hope everyone has had a great Thanksgiving!

Some of you have noticed that the blog has dried up a bit. ?Since 2004, I have been blogging consistently (on different sites), usually 3-5 times a week. ?So you might be wondering what has happened here. ?Is dead?


Just in a holding pattern at the moment.

In September I accepted a new job as a sous chef with a successful and fast-growing restaurant group. I spent the month of September working hard to leave my current sous chef job in Hartford well. ?I then spent almost the entire month of October living in a hotel in?Massachusetts training for my new job. ?Since the beginning of November, I have been working hard at my new job. During this time, to be honest, I simply have not had the time to blog regularly — and as my mind has been focused on learning my job, and now doing my job, I haven't had much that I felt compelled to write about.

So I don't know how much I will be posting or when… but I will?occasionally. And at some point, I may begin doing so regularly again. ?In the mean time, feel free to comment on previous posts, re-start old discussions, etc — I am always game for some good interactions as iron sharpens iron.

And I am sure at some point, more regular postings will be back. ? ?
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Posted by on November 27, 2011 in Uncategorized


How To Help Someone Coming Out

Here is a great sermon by Rev. George Chien about “How to Help Someone Coming Out”.  It was part of a series at Riverfront Family Church on “How to Help People” that included great messages on helping people who are unemployed and helping those going through a divorce.  A really good and practical series about how to love and serve those around us!

You can get the whole series here.  And below, you can listen to George’s message:

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Posted by on November 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

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