Be careful little hands what you say

I just got back from a discipleship class that I teach each Saturday with one of the Deaf teens in our church.

At church we take prayer requests each Sunday and a couple of weeks ago we had mentioned several young people who needed prayer concerning a particular exam coming up. On the list I put all the names of those who were taking the exam and who also attend our church. Others were mentioned who were also taking the exam. So that the list would not be too long, I joked that we were only going to pray for those who come to church.

This teen’s mother told me today that they were praying through the list and came to the request about the exam. She started praying for those on the list and for the others who were in the class. Her son stopped her and told her that she could not pray for those who don’t come to church because I said so. He took quite literally that I meant that only those who come to church were allowed to be prayed for.

Oops. Maybe some things are best left unsaid.

Review: Grace Like a River

I got this book, Grace Like a River, last summer when it came out. I read about it somewhere before it came out and I had my mom hit Books-A-Million to pick it up for me as soon as it was available.

It is the autobiographical work of Christopher Parkening and his concert career. As an avid Parkening fan (I have 12 of his CDs), I had to have the book. Though I knew quite a bit about the man, I was pleased to learn about what drives him as a musician and how he came back from retirement to fight his way to the top again.

A brief synopsis is that he was an accomplished musician on the world’s stage. He wanted to be retired by the age of 30 and living in a cabin in Montana so that he could fish full time. He accomplished that and thought his life would be complete. Of course, it was not. He was living for himself alone with no care for anyone or anything else.

He not only stopped playing professionally, but he pretty much gave up the guitar completely. It was a hard struggle to come back to concert guitar and recording. Even though he had great recordings in the past, making new ones meant he had to come back to the level where he was.

The book is about the hard work that took. Some difficulties outside of the concert life are peppered throughout the book.

My favorite parts are when he talked about Master Segovia and the respect he has for the man. I thought it was particularly insightful to see Segovia’s thoughts on some of his contemporaries. He had no great love for some people while having absolute respect for the abilities of Parkening. I also enjoyed reading about the wonderful guitars that Parkening has had the privilege of owning and playing.

The book covers some details about his love of fishing as well. I knew that Mr. Parkening was a fisherman, but I did not know that he is as accomplished as a fly-fisherman as he is a concert guitarist. He has won several major championships through the years. You can tell through the book that he is as passionate about one as he is the other.

The book is decidedly religious. It is basically his spiritual journey and how God has worked in his life. While I don’t completely agree with all of Parkening’s theology, I do highly recommend the book. This is one of those books I may lend out, but only to people I know will get it back to me. This is one I will keep on my shelf for a long time.

Tyndale House Publishers, 2007, 286 pages with color photos.

[click photo to buy the book at Amazon]

Writer’s Digest

Writer’s DigestI enjoy writing. I tell you that, just in case you could not tell. I have always thought blogging was a fad thing (and kinda still do), but it may actually be here to stay for a little while. It seems to have taken root pretty strongly.

While listening to Grammar Girl this week, she mentioned Writer’s Digest. She was talking about having a deadline for yourself to help you write more. She said that Writer’s Digest is always sponsoring writing contests. I remember back when I was taking a writing course that I used to love reading Writer’s Digest. I was too poor back then to subscribe, or even buy one every couple of months. I would go to the bookstore with my notebook in hand and write down all the information I could about different writing contests.

Even back when Internet in the home was new, WD had a website. I would spend hours there each night reading articles and writing for contests. I don’t remember submitting any entries, but I remember writing several. It was fun.

Well, as happens in my life, I will be passionate about something for a time and then it just fades away. I still enjoy writing, but I do not seek out freelance jobs anymore. It could have to do with the fact that the last place I worked did not allow us to moonlight. I wrote an article for pay once and had to surrender the check to the company. It was only $50 or $70, I don’t remember now, but back then it was a lot to me (would be a lot to me now too). The money was not as big of an issue to the company either, but they wanted to know that all my efforts were being expended on them. There were lots of reasons for that, to which I wholeheartely agree even to this day. But, it did kind of put a damper on my writing dreams.

Now I blog. Sometimes a lot, sometimes a little. I am a bit concerned that the people who butter my bread would see the amount I am blogging here and wonder what they are paying me for. But, not concerned enough to stop. If I were writing in a journal for personal enjoyment, no one would care. It is when you make stuff like this public that it tends to raise eyebrows.

Anyway, the point was to say that I enjoyed Writer’s Digest back about 8-10 years ago. I used to be on a couple of their e-mailing lists. It is time to surf over to their site and see what kind of offerings they have today. I might even enter a contest and sign up for a newsletter.

Looking for a TDD/TTY?

While looking through the website for The Phone Resource, I saw that they have TDD machines. A TDD is a “Telecommunications Device for the Deaf.” They have replaced the older TTY machines which were TeleTYpe machines. So all TTYs are TDDs, but not vice versa. But the two terms are used interchangeably.

The way they usually work is the caller puts a regular phone handset into a cradle and you can send text messages over the phone. Kinda like instant messaging today, but you just call from phone to phone using a normal phone line. So people without a computer can use one of these.

If you are hearing and want to call a Deaf friend, you can use a relay service. Most states have a state funded relay where you call a number and an operator will type for you and voice what your Deaf friend says. Fancier relay services now also offer video relay. Deaf can call into the relay service using a web cam and then the operator will call your home number. You will talk on the phone like you are talking to anyone else while the operator is signing to the Deaf caller. Then the caller can sign to the operator back to you.

But, if you want to say sweet nothings to your Deaf friend, get your own TDD. You don’t want to have to work through an operator for that.

Interestingly, here in México with the Deaf we work with, they do not have TDDs. Nor do they have IM or web cams. They just use text messaging on cell phones. Text messages are relatively cheap here. Far cheaper than a $400 TDD. I doubt they have a relay service to work with. So your friend would also have to have a TDD for you to call them.

If you are looking to buy one, check out the offerings at The Phone Resource. They also have Polycom conference phones.

[This is a sponsored post]

How hard was I hit?

Last night I went to football practice. Hardly anyone was there. In total, there were only 5 who showed up. We take a few days to heal from things like Tuesday’s scrimmage game.

They were still asking me if I was OK. I assured them I was and I asked the coach why they kept asking. The coach and one other fellows’ eyes got big and they said “You got hit really hard Tuesday. Really hard.”

I remember getting taken out by a blocker, but did not feel it was that big of a deal at the time. They said that when I got hit and was flying backwards it was like in a movie where one guy gets picked up off the ground and thrown backwards onto his can. My feet went up and I went down. I got to thinking about it more this morning and I don’t actually remember what happened after I was hit. Now, I have slept since then, so that could explain it. But I remember seeing the lineman come at me with his block and remember feeling the blow, but I don’t remember hitting the ground or getting back up. Shortly after that I was replaced by one of our wide receivers who came in to play safety for me for a few plays.

So, maybe I was hit harder than I thought. My shoulder got banged up badly that night and I guess it came from that hit. The major road rash I have on my arm and knee came from the interception I caught and the resulting tackle.

The black and blue spots are starting to show up today.