Woodlawn CC

Woodlawn CC

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Jed Morgan Update

Just a quick update on Jed's condition.

He and Anna of course are now located in San Diego and he has been moved to an outpatient status.

Apparently he has been able to make some of the daily trips to the hospital by himself but the family does request prayers for assistance on the logistics of their daily routines.

Jed seems to be coming down with something and they have asked for prayers for this as of course his system does not need any additional burdens upon it.

The wound on his backside has continued to plague him and hasn't healed sufficiently.  It is causing him a great deal of pain and they ask for prayers that this wound might start to heal and Jed may find relief.

Thank you all for your continued prayers for this brave young marine and his family.

God's Blessings,

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Okay I'm a little behind blogging... 2 weekends worth in 1

Sorry I'm behind folks.... please forgive me.

On the 11th I went to Lincoln to attend a workshop on Suicide Prevention.  This program was aimed at members of the Clergy and was very informative.  There were about 20 of us at the workshop.  It would have been great if more Clergy would have made the time to attend, in the city of Lincoln alone there should have been 5 times that number in attendance.  Many of the attendees were actually from one congregation, so it was even more under attended than the numbers would indicate.  

The program they were promoting is called "QPR" for question, persuade & refer. One of the things they told us was that many suicides are actually senior citizens who are weary of life or who are afraid of being a burden to their families.  This is just as awful as the loss of teens, and I have to wonder if the number of senior suicides remain under reported due to stigma and not wanting to upset the family.  I saw today an article online that stated that more people are dying right now in the USA from suicide than from automobile accidents.  Just tragic...

On Friday and Saturday of last week (Sept 14 & 15) we had our monthly ELM training.  The classes this month and in October are over Pastoral Care.  It's a subject that one can barely begin to scratch the surface of in the short amount of time that we have available.  Our instructor Russ Seger has been a Pastor, College Professor and Therapist.  His specialty is grief and he has had a very interesting career.  For a number of years he was a part of the FEMA crew and was rushed into situations where great tragedy had occurred.  One of his stories had to do with the Oklahoma City bombing, what a horrific event to be called to assist with.

It was a great class and I'm looking forward to the October class and learning more from Russ.  He is a very likable man and an effective teacher.

I've agreed to do pulpit fill for my friend Howard Blecha who is the Pastor for the Humboldt Christian Church in Humboldt Nebraska.  I will be filling in for Howard on both Oct 21st and Oct 28th.  It's great to have two Sundays in a row and I'm still working on what I want to preach on for those two Sundays.  I'll also be doing the Children's Story both weeks and I'm as always happy to have a chance to share with the young ones.  I still believe that many times even the adults get more out of the Children's Story than the full sermon.  Howard is a great man and I'm excited to go down south and spend some time with his flock.
Humboldt Christian Church, Humboldt, NE
On Sunday we all loaded up and went to Nebraska City for the Apple Jack Festival.  Creath was home from school and it was great to have a family outing with all four of us.  I had hoped to attend church down there however I was unable to convince the rest of the brood that we should wake up extremely early in order to be in Nebraska City in time for church.

Nebraska City is just a zoo during the Festival and both Gail and I agreed that it was our last time going to Nebraska City for the actual Festival.  For the last couple of years we've gone down on a weekend after the Festival.  Perhaps next weekend we'll swing over to Nebraska City on our way back from Hastings.  We definitely still need to work on our apple fix for 2012.  LOL

During this past week I was contacted by the Associate Executive Minister for the Minnesota & Iowa American Baptist.  She asked me if I would like to have my name placed on the rolls over there for possible pulpit opportunities and I told her absolutely. (the State Office here in Nebraska had forwarded my information to them) So I'm excited about this as well but I do not know exactly which churches or how many over there are currently searching, it may be a long time if ever before I will hear anything more from them.

This weekend we had our monthly Men's breakfast at Church and as always it was a great meal and a great time of fellowship and sharing.  

Today Gail and I attended the worship service at Benson Baptist.  Pastor Paul Marine gave a great sermon.  He has a very good delivery and I found the sermon genuinely edifying as well as enjoyable.  The order and content of Benson's service is almost exactly like our worship services at Sunset Hills.  They have a large worship team with a large number of musicians and singers upfront.  My only critique might be that they actually have too many folks upfront, during much of the service the Altar was completely blocked.  But then again participation is a wonderful thing and we shouldn't get uptight about the consequences of having to include more people in any worship team.  Praise God!

Benson Baptist Church, Omaha, NE
After church Gail and I went for a drive through some of the neighborhoods in the Benson area admiring some of the older homes in the area. This afternoon I've spent working on my assignments for the October ELM Class and I'm nearly done with the first assignment.  For dinner tonight we decided to go out and try a fast food mexican restaurant nearby.  It's called "Lina's" and it is definitely low brow, the meal came on a styrofoam plate and the utensils provided were plastic.  But, it was cheap and actually very good.  As we were standing in line to order we had folks speaking spanish ahead of us and a group speaking russian behind us.  I felt very international... LOL, even though I was in what should be best considered a dive.  I'll definitely go back again sometime however as the food was good and it was very inexpensive.

Next Sunday we will be going to Hastings to attend the installation service for my friend Dustin Bower.  Dustin is a classmate from ELM and he has accepted a call to serve as Pastor at the Disciples of Christ Church in Hastings.  I'm very proud of Dustin he is a great Christian and I will look forward to watching and hopefully assisting this fine young man as he goes through his career as a Minister for Christ.  Congratulations to you Dustin!  As I stated earlier perhaps Gail and I will make a side trip over to Nebraska City on our way back and visit the orchards.

This week I'm going to change up my workouts.  I've decided to switch to a heavy/light routine with working every body part twice a week and working out on set dates each week.  I'll elaborate on this more in another post, that is all for tonight.

Well I hope you all have a great week and remember to be "A Blessing to Somebody TODAY".

In his Grace and Glory,


Monday, September 10, 2012

Jed Morgan update

Well they have removed the casts from Jed's arms as well as the pins in his hands.

Jed has been moved to San Diego, CA for more recovery and Anna has gone with him.

His parents are working on expanding and remodeling their home in Colorado Springs for when he is finally able to come home.

Your prayers have certainly helped to move this young couple along in their long journey to getting Jed back home.

Thank you all and God Bless you all,

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Well that didn't go as planned....

Well this weekend didn't go along exactly as planned.  

Friday night I suddenly started feeling ill.  I had such nasty abdominal pain that I almost couldn't stand it.  No matter what position I sat or laid in there was no finding any comfort.  Unfortunately the symptoms didn't begin to diminish until about 6pm on Saturday.  Finally by about 9pm I was able to finally eat and actually drink something.  From Friday morning to Saturday night I lost exactly five pounds no doubt mostly being dehydrated but still not good.

Saturday I was so sick that it caused me to have to miss work (something that I have not done in years) and that meant not being able to work on the large painting that I have to have ready to install by Wednesday morning.  Obviously losing a day put me a bit behind the eight ball.

This morning I woke up early and rushed into the shop to put some final texture on the back panel for the painting.  I needed to get that done so it would have time to dry so I could paint it later on today.

After finishing that I drove back home to pick up Madeline and then we both drove to Papillion to pick up her boyfriend Joe.  We then proceeded downtown to attend services at First Baptist Church.  This weekend Pastor Ron has started a new Sunday School class for adults and Doug and I decided to take a break from teaching our class in order to allow the individuals who regularly attend our classes to take the class from Ron.  While this class is going on I've decided to take advantage of the opportunity to go and visit some other congregations in order to observe and take notes on how others are organizing their worship services.  Since American Baptists can and do worship in a number of different ways I feel it is to my benefit to experience a few other church's worship services.

Today First Baptist was having a joint service with their Karen congregation so the service was different in a couple regards.  But minus the Karen doing some special music and the Karen Pastor giving the sermon in Karen (which his daughter translated into English) the only major difference from First Baptist's and our services at Sunset Hills was that all their songs were from the hymnals and we tend to do more praise music.

Next Sunday we are planning on going to Nebraska City for the Apple Festival down there and I'm trying to talk everyone into going to the UCC Church in Nebraska City.  We'll see as this will mean waking up pretty early and my girls aren't too excited about the idea.  I need to pull out all my charms to convince them I suppose. LOL

After getting home from the services at First Baptist I had a protein shake and a cup of coffee.  Then after sitting for a bit I headed to the gym to get in a Chest/Back/Shoulder workout.

So less than 18 hours from being so sick that I couldn't even keep 7-up down I was in the gym getting ready to workout.  A wise and prudent person would likely have decided to go with a light workout, but wise and prudent aren't terms often used to describe me in the weight room.  LOL.  Instead knowing myself and realizing fully well that my undernourished and dehydrated body would mean that my endurance would be far more compromised than my strength, I went heavy.  By going as heavy as I could handle today for reps of doubles or triples on my first few sets on each body part, I was able to stimulate as much muscle as I could but I was also employing an old "jedi-weightlifter" trick.  Going heavy meant that I was smacking my muscles with a ball peen hammer but it also meant that I was slapping my central nervous system up along side the head.  Now that my central nervous system was wide awake and ramped up for heavy weights I was able to drop back on the weight and actually complete more repetitions on my last sets and my supplement movements than I could have if I'd have just gone to the same weights straight away.  This trick will work in a normal workout but was doubly advantageous in my depleted condition.  So by no small amount of determination, experience and a bit of guile I was able to pull off a good workout in spite of being under the weather.

After the workout I ran home had a quick bite to eat and went back to the shop and spent the rest of the day working on the painting.  Fortunately, I was able to make up for most of the time I lost yesterday to being home sick in bed.  I have a little more work to do on the back panels and then it will just be a matter of assembling all of the pieces.  

Tomorrow I'll line up a truck for Wednesday morning to haul the painting out to the house and the project will be finished and the painting will be part of the Street of Dreams.  Hopefully the couple that are purchasing the house where the painting is hanging will like it and purchase it from me.  I'm also hoping that it will bring in a few more commissioned pieces.

Tuesday morning I'm planning on going down to Lincoln and taking in a program on Suicide Prevention.  It's only an hour and a half long but I'm told it's well worth taking in.  Next Friday and Saturday are also our monthly ELM training and I still have a little bit to read before then so it's going to be a busy week.

You all have a blessed week and remember to be a blessing to somebody as well.

In His grace,


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Maddie's 18th Birthday

Eighteen years ago today it was a Monday and it was actually Labor Day.  On that day 15 weeks ahead of schedule (she was 25 weeks term) our beautiful little impatient daughter decided to come into this world.  At just 2 lbs 2 oz she literally fit into the palm of the attending physician's hand as he handed her like a loaf of bread to the neonatologist who was there waiting for her.  In a flurry the neonate staff prepped her and rushed her out of the room and into the neonatology unit.

Creath Karlen with Maddie Karlen
Roy Karlen photo

It was 2 and a half months before our little girl came home with us and even then she barely weighed 5 lbs.  At first she was so small that we couldn't take her to day care so she was in the Gallery with us.  I still remember that one of the Interior Designers we worked with just had to hold her whenever she came in with a project and just wouldn't give her up until she had to leave.

Our tiny little 2 lb 2 oz girl has grown into such a beautiful young woman and she is without a doubt the apple of her Daddy's eye.  Happy Birthday Maddie!

Maddie Karlen with her mom Gail Karlen and her big brother
Creath Karlen, Roy Karlen photo

Maddie with her friends Sammi and Jill.
Roy Karlen photo

Maddie and Creath
Roy Karlen photo

Maddie's Baptism with Rev Ron French
Roy Karlen photo

Maddie with her boyfriend Joe
Roy Karlen photo

Maddie Karlen
Roy Karlen photo

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Labor Day Weekend

Saturday I drove Madeline and her boyfriend Joe up to the "Lifelight" festival up in South Dakota.  If you're unfamiliar with Lifelight they put on free Christian Concerts around the nation but they are headquartered out of South Dakota and their biggest concert each year is out in the country just a bit south of Sioux Falls.

It was interesting as always but I'll admit the music is mostly for younger folks.  I spent most of my time just reading and sort of listening.  Though there was one group that played a blend of folk and rock music, they had the lead singer playing a dobro guitar, a fellow with an electric banjo and a young woman playing an accordion (as well as a bassist and keyboard player).  Some of their songs were pretty cool and I went to their booth to get a cd only to find that they only had t-shirts for sale in their booth.  So I went and picked up a cd and another t-shirt from a group that I saw there last year and really liked.  They're a Native American group called "Broken Walls".  Much of their music reminds me of going to the Pow-Wows when I was younger.

When we got back to Omaha we met up with Gail and Creath and we all had dinner at Pizza Hut.  It was getting late and the restaurant was pretty empty which was fine as Joe, Maddie and Creath were having a good time poking fun at each other.  Of course Gail with her bone dry humor threw in a few good jabs herself.

Sunday Maddie went to Church with Joe's family so after our time at worship Gail and I ran to the Farmers Market and bought a bushel of roma tomatoes among other things.  So part of the afternoon was spent making up and canning salsa.  We must have about 30 or more quarts of salsa now, which should get us through the year until tomatoes are back next summer.  I also spent part of the afternoon working on the large painting for the Street of Dreams.

Monday morning bright and early Creath left and went back to school.  He had hoped to be back on campus earlier in the week but the college was doing some work in the dorm and wouldn't let him move in early even though they do let seniors come on campus early.  I spent much of my time working on the large painting and I made great progress with it and honestly I'm pretty much happy with it.  I just need to now break it back down and texture the two back pieces and paint them black.  Then I'll varnish the whole thing (tons of varnish there) and partially re-assemble the painting.  The finally assembly won't happen until I've got it onsite.  The install date for the art is the 10th and that shouldn't be a problem barring any unforeseen difficulties.

In the afternoon I took a break from painting and ran to the gym to get in a quick workout.  I decided to mix it up a bit and did mostly movements that I haven't done for a while.  On one I decided to try and hit a weight that at my best on the movement I've hit 5 reps.  I was shooting for 2 maybe 3 reps but I was shocked when I ripped off 5 reps with it, I was pleased.  It was a good workout even though I did have to move pretty fast in order to get back and work on the painting.

As soon as I have the painting installed I'll get a photo and put it online.  I just hope I still like the painting when I go down and look at it tonight.  It's happened before where I'm either happy or unhappy with something and then walk away and come back the next day and I either now hate or love it.

Yesterday we learned that in the afternoon the husband of one of Gail's high school friends passed away.  He apparently sat down to take a quick nap and simply never woke up.  We all need to bear in mind that we never know what will become of our loved ones or ourselves from day to day and we need to remember to tell others that we love them every chance we get.  Prayers for her and her family as I'm sure they were not expecting anything like this to happen at this stage of life.

Please be the Blessing!