Dad’s New Wineskins

07/07/2018

“People do not put new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined. Rather, they pour new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.” – Matthew 9:17, from today’s gospel.

Every time I hear or read this Gospel, I think of my wonderful dad. His blood vessels and veins had undoubtedly weakened from years of inadequate blood flow, as surely happens to all people whose heart can no longer efficiently pump blood.

In my humble opinion, his vessels couldn’t handle the new flow of blood. Their elasticity was compromised from years of “drought.”

The LVAD

    – New Lease on Life

    – New Medical Issues

When the LVAD created a firehose effect — much greater pressure on inelastic tissues — the vessels weren’t quite capable of handling the new demand.

New Wine. Old Wineskins.

That’s why he needed frequent (almost monthly) blood transfusions. I ain’t no doctor. But years of reflecting and studying this stuff bring me to this intuitive conclusion.

Anyway… That’s the Readers Digest version.

God, I miss him!

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When is the Right Time?

07/02/2018

 

 

The imminent commencement of my SEVENTH (!!) decade shifted my philosophizing into overdrive and made me a tad more motivated.

I’ve got three things for you today.

Depravity

Many of us who live in the 21st Century seem to think we’ve evolved, that we’re so much wiser than our predecessors in past centuries. Certainly since the founding of our country!

The reality is,

there ain’t nothin’ new under the sun

and

those who lived seven and a half centuries before the birth of Christ were just as depraved as the “enlightened” 21st Century sophisticates.

A Warning

According to the prophet Amos, God took note of the depravity of the Israelites living at the time.

Amos warned them of their fate.

Psalm 50 has ominous reminders for

“… you who never think of God.”   –   Psalm 50:22a

Decision in the Midst of Excuses

Jesus has tough words for those who say they want to follow Him today. When’s the right time to do what you’ve been called to do?

When are you going to do it? What’s it going to take?

For me, time’s running short. It is for all of us. Some will have more than others.

What are you waiting for?

Watch the Video

It’s all explained right here…


NRA Has How Many Politicians in Its Back Pocket?

03/01/2018

“NRA has many politicians in its back pocket.”

Let’s take that as gospel truth for sake of argument.

In the 20 years ending 2016, the NRA sent $200 million to politicians. That’ll buy a whole lotta politicians.

Won’t it?

How much money does $10 million a year buy?

In 2017 alone, $1.7 billion was contributed to political campaigns.

By labor unions.

(And that’s JUST labor unions.)

Let’s compare:

$1.7 billion in one year.

$0.2 billion in TWENTY YEARS. (That’s $0.01 billion per year. That’s ONE HALF of ONE PERCENT of $1.7 billion.)

Tell me… who’s the puppeteer?

Thanks for reading. My sole purpose is to advance the Truth. Please pray for me. And I’ll pray for you.

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This is where Kit Kat, Lady, and Litta Kitten are buried. R.I.P. Daddy’s Little Babies.


New Wine in Old Blood Vessels

01/16/2018

“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the wineskins, and the wine will pour out, and the wineskins will be lost. Instead, new wine must be put into new wineskins.” – Mark 2:22

Except when you get a VAD. Then you get new wine into old, brittle wineskins. Not sure if anybody thought about that…

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Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016 – Dad with his LVAD batteries holstered

I can’t hear (read) this Gospel any more without thinking of Dad, my dad, Norb Kwiecinski. He got a new lease on life in February 2014. An LVAD, a Left Ventricular Assist Device because his left ventricle was failing. It couldn’t sufficiently empty blood from his heart any longer. And he was dying.

450_300_mayolvad rendering of LVAD courtesy Mayo Clinic

Rendering of a Ventricular Assist Device, courtesy of Mayo Clinic

Lack of blood supply means lack of oxygen. Lack of oxygen means dying a slow death.

The LVAD gave him new life. It pumped blood through his body for him. But that lack of blood flow for so many years meant veins that had turned into old wineskins. And Dad’s new wine, in the form of a vibrant, fresh blood supply, was too much for the old wineskins to handle.

After being discharged from his four-month journey through intensive care, five staredowns with death, and an incredibly intense physical rehabilitation, Dad became a frequent visitor at the hospital.

Why? He constantly needed more blood. Where was it going?

Despite numerous tests, there was little evidence of a single source of a leak. It wasn’t showing up. So why did he need blood? Where was it going? Was his body like an old automobile engine, burning oil?

My humble, yet considered theory is that his arteries and veins — and especially the fine, delicate capillaries that deliver blood to the extremities and up to the skin — had become brittle from years of poor blood flow. When the LVAD powerfully and efficiently delivered blood, this force was more than these delicate tissues could handle. And the blood was absorbed into the body. It had seemingly disappeared. But it really hadn’t.

Is that really what happened? Is this really the explanation for why Dad consistently needed blood transfusions?

Nobody can convince me otherwise. No one else had a better, more plausible, more scientific explanation. And my theory seems to make sense.

Anyway… today’s Gospel triggered these memories today. Always happens. And the memories of those troubling, yet exhilarating and joyful months come flooding back into consciousness as if they happened yesterday.

I love you, Dad. Still miss you like crazy. Still blame you for my coffee addiction. Still ask you for help with the simplest home repair projects. And I still hear you say, chidingly, “atta boy” when I finally figure it out.

And we have the most serious man-to-man philosophical discussions… well, sure, they’re slightly one-sided. But they’re real. And really serious.

#dadupdate

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How Much Money Do You Waste On Supplements?

01/11/2018

We’re deep in the throes of post-holiday ordinariness and Resolution Season. Not quite the middle of January, so most people haven’t given up on their resolutions. Yet. (Note: that’s unscientific speculation on the part of yours truly.)

Grocery store ads are replete with healthy food, fat burners, energy boosters, basic fitness essentials, and other “health” products.

Are any of these products worth the cost? Nicole Akers delves into the subject of wasting money on vitamins and supplements in her latest blog post, Stop Wasting Your Money on Vitamins and Supplements:

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http://www.wetalkhealthy.com/stop-wasting-money-vitamins-supplements/

Nicole blogs frequently at WeTalkHealthy.com. She also has some healthy recipe books you will enjoy.

I’m not a pill taker. I down a pain killer reluctantly. And I do take a multivitamin daily as an insurance policy against a day of poor nutrition or inconsistent eating. Oh. And a baby aspirin per my physician, since my family has a history of heart issues. But that’s it.

Supplements… just one. Protein powder. Why? It’s faster and more convenient than having to cook something early in the morning when I’m battling cats and the clock to get to my first appointment. And it’s most convenient as a post-workout fuel when mixed with simple sugar. My favorite concoction is lemon lime Gatorade and vanilla flavored protein. It’s a tolerable taste.

Do you swear by any vitamin or other health supplements? Let me know in the comments.


Two Tales of Sexual Abuse

11/20/2017

I have been absent for much too long and I apologize. Ever since Dad died, not only were my emotions turned inside out… my schedule has been absolute insanity. My conversation has moved, primarily, to Facebook simply because it’s so much easier to pop in there, write a few lines, start a live video, whatever.

But that doesn’t do you much good if you’re not a Facebook fan. I keep thinking that I need to put those same videos and conversations over here, too.

Now I’ve started writing for Medium and Publishous, so my time is even more divided.

Go figure.

There’s probably a way to share my latest post here, but if you will indulge me, just click on the link below to read:

My latest story on Medium

It’s a timely piece that combines a couple of old, bad memories with my thoughts on a deadly serious subject that melds with current events.

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A Punch in the Gut

05/09/2017

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give glory to God, for the Lord our God the Almighty reigns, alleluia.”

Revelations 19:7,6  –  Entrance Antiphon, Fourth Tuesday of Easter

Not easy sometimes to embrace this when we’re hurting. A year ago today, Mom buried her beloved husband, Norb Kwiecinski. A year ago today, Sarah and Andy lost their biological father, Dan Vincent. The timing was a punch in the gut.

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But we’re not here for this life. Yeah, we live it to the full while we’re here. We’re supposed to serve others, do our best, love with every ounce… but we rejoice because Jesus embraces all the crap, all the hurt, all the tears, all the anguish, all the sadness, all the depression, all the torment and torture, all the injustice.

All the sorrow.

It sucks.

But He says “Let me take it. Rejoice.”

It’s still so hard. So please pray for us. Sarah and Daniel, who also lost his dad this year, and their kids, our grandchildren. Andy and Cheryl, who lost her dad ten years ago, and their kids, our grandchildren. Douglas and Amy and sweet little Imogen, who never had the pleasure of meeting Great Grandpa. Stephen and Martha. My sweet wife, Kathy, who lost her mom, Dorothy, three years ago, and her dad, Malcolm, in 1981. My sisters and brothers in law. My nieces and nephews who miss their Grandpa. Uncle Stan, who misses his brother. Butch, who misses his Uncle Norb. Countless relatives and friends who loved Dad. I could go on and on listing names, but I will leave out too many.

And please pray especially for Mom, Barb Kwiecinski. I know she misses the guOI2047625967_Kwiecinskiy who gave her such grief, who gave her such a hard time, who was always there to calm her down when she needed it, who was always there for her, even when he was so broken down he couldn’t even care for himself.

Dad, we miss you. But nobody more so than Mom.      

Rejoice. That’s what we’ll do someday when we all get together again. Right now, we smile and laugh … and cry … when we remember.


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