Monthly Archives: December 2006

Looking Forward

This will probably be my last blog entry of 2006. It’s time to look forward to 2007.

2006 has been a very difficult and bittersweet year. Certainly, my father’s death in October was the low point of the year (and my life). Grief is a terrible companion; it’s like an open wound that just doesn’t go away. It is painful. The only antibiotic that works to heal it is time.

I can now sometimes go for days without breaking down; something I couldn’t do even a few weeks ago. But I find that I am only one thought away from tears at any given moment. Yesterday we went to WalMart to pickup some copies of photos of my grandson Jackson Reverdy Orrell. Everything was going well, until we started to pick out frames.

Imagine that – something as simple as photo frames – can trigger tears.

When I reworked the photo of my father that I sent out to everyone, I made some smaller ones. Some were wallet size and another was about a 3″ x 4″ odd size. I really liked that smaller size. It was larger than a wallet, but not that large.

While picking out frames I remember that size and started looking for a proper frame. I thought I had the right size picked out (I was wrong) and showed it to Nora. She said, “You don’t have any photos for that frame.” I couldn’t get a word out; I just choked up. She instantly saw what was happening and asked if I was alright, knowing what I was thinking about.

Later yesterday, I was watching some of President Gerald Ford’s funeral on TV. One of the speakers mentioned that the President brought ‘grace and dignity’ to the Oval Office. ‘Grace & Dignity’ were words I used throughout my father’s eulogy. I switched channels.

I still think of my father constantly. Even when I look at my lovely grandson Jackson, I think of my father. I’m so proud to be a grandfather and have a wonderful son & daughter. (I refer to Sara as my daughter, not my daughter -in – law. I couldn’t love any daughter more than I love Sara.) I cried when I held my grandson for the first time on last Saturday and again on Christmas Day. I’m just so happy that he and Sara are healthy. When I hold him, I think about how proud my father would have been to be here and hold him. It brings tears to my eyes. I want to be the same type of grandfather to Jackson as my father was to my son.

While I don’t want to forget my father, I’d like the memories of his last few months to fade away. Those painful memories are imbedded in my head. Just as everyone can close their eyes and clearly see the planes flying into the World Trade Center towers, I can clearly see every detail of my father’s suffering during his final months, weeks, and especially days.

In times, I suppose, these memories will lessen and be replaced by images of my grandson. I hope so.

As I look forward to 2007, I look forward to various changes in my life, some of which have already been put into action.

In August, I was diagnosed with borderline diabeties. Nora and I instantly changed our diets and we both worked hard at a new eating routine and lifestyle. Everything was going well until after my father’s death. Then we sort of fell off the wagon and haven’t been as loyal to fighting the diabeties. I went for a blood test the end of November, thinking my test results would be much better than the previous test. Sadly, some numbers improved, but others were worse. This was a huge disappointment. We are now working to get back on track. I’m not on any medication for diabeties, but I don’t want to start. My chorlestoral levels were also mixed, with some numbers improving and others getting slightly worse. I’m now on Lipitor and hope that helps. Yes, health issues are a concern and something that must be addressed. I’ve lost two friends from my industry this past year. One was 51 and the other was 58.

I have made other changes to my lifestyle over the past few months. I’ve learned to relax more. I’ve stopped all of my ‘special’ projects. These projects usually involved tremendous efforts to do something in areas that I enjoyed – genealogy, horror reading and writing, political satire and social commentary, chess problems, etc.

I’ve stopped the chess problems. While I still do a website for StrateGems.org, a chess problem organization, I just don’t get involved in solving chess problems anymore.

I’ve stopped reading and writing horror. My book, Siamese Sister, is on hold. I only have to complete the final draft, but have no desire to do so. I’ve lost interest in reading and writing horror, as I have with the chess problems.

I also would spend quite a bit of time searching for editiorial cartoons, posted daily to this blog. I would also write quite a few political and social commentary pieces. I would download and listen to various conservative talk radio programs (Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage). I no longer do any of this. I am still very conservative, but just don’t feel like reading or writing in this area.

My interest in genealogy remains an important aspect of my life. While I haven’t been able to work on the genealogy, it still holds a high interest. It, along with bible study, are the two things that I want to pursue. I’ve even lost interest in following ice hockey.

My time is spent reflecting on my life, my family, and what I really need to do. Certainly, keeping my promise to my Dad of taking care of my Mom is the most important thing. I need to watch out for her health and be right there for her. I enjoy doing that. It is not a burden. I can not take the place of my father, in this respect, but I can help. Nora is totally committed in this area also.

Now, with the birth of Jackson, my interests and committments are readjusted. I want to be there for Sara and Reb, whenever they need anything. Certainly, I want to see my grandson, but I need to be there for them, to help them out where needed, if I can.

‘Family’ is my number one priority from here on out, not just for 2007. If there is time for bible study and genealogy, that is fine. If there isn’t, then there just isn’t. Family should have always have been my number one committment my entire life. Sadly, at times, it wasn’t. That has changed.

As 2007 is about to begin, I look forward to the New Year. I look forward to spending more time with my mother, wife, son, daughter, and grandson. They are certainly the most important thing in my life. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful loving wife. She has held the family together over the past six months.

I will enjoy bible study and genealogy as time permits, but it will never be put ahead of family.

We will probably sell the West Virginia home this year and pay off the home in Baltimore. We’ll be in better shape financially after that. We’ll be able to take my Mother on vacations with us and see more of this country and the world. We haven’t been able to do any of that in the past five years due to two mortgages, etc. It will take a few weeks to remove personal items from WV. We will probably put the home up for sale in late March.

I’m still undecided about formal bible study. While I want to go to bible college, I haven’t quite decided which course or courses I will be taking. I’m also looking into Family Radio’s School of the Bible, and might study with them. I just don’t have all of their details yet to make that decision. If it comes within the next week or so, there is the possibility I’ll study with them and not bible college. I just don’t know. I do know that I will study the bible this year, either with a structured program or independently. That is for sure.

The Nativity Story

It would appear this would be a good movie, especially during the Christmas season.

For details, go here.

NativityStory.jpg

Family Radio – School of the Bible

I just learned the Family Radio has their own School of the Bible. Details below:

Associate of Religious Education Degree
The 2-year Associate of Religious Education degree is designed for home study through correspondence courses. Upon successful completion of the 66 unit degree program, with a ‘C’ average or higher, the student will be awarded the degree. This program is designed to give each student a good understanding of the Old Testament, New Testament, Biblical counseling, theology, and a beginning understanding of Biblical languages.

One of the key components of this program is Biblical counseling through practical theology. This series is very helpful in learning to disciple others.

Old and New Testament survey courses, coupled with surveys of individual books, will give the student a good overview of the purpose and focus of each book of the Bible.

Students will also be introduced to the original Hebrew and Greek languages of the Bible. This is extremely important for illuminating the scriptures through individual word studies.

Curriculum for the Associate of Religious Education Degree – 2 years

Semester 1: 11 units
ENT 112 – The Gospel of Mark, Ch. 1-8, 3 units
ENT 142 – I Corinthians, Ch. 1-8, 3 units
PBT 101 – Practical Biblical Theology: The Christian Character, 3 units
THE 100 – Doctrines of Grace, 2 units

Semester 2: 11 units
ENT 113 – The Gospel of Mark, Ch. 9-16, 3 units
ENT 143 – I Corinthians, Ch. 9-16, 3 units
PBT 102 – Christian Growth, 3 units
THE 101 – Principles of Bible Study, 2 units

Semester 3: 10.5 units
EOT 160 – Hosea, 3 units
ENT 100 – New Testament Survey, 3 units
LS 101a,b – Elementary Greek, 1.5 units
PBT 103 – Christian Conflicts, 3 units

Semester 4: 12.5 units
ENT 101 – New Testament Survey II, 3 units
EOT 100 – Old Testament Survey I, 3 units
LS 101c – Elementary Greek, 1.5 units
PBT 104 – Christian Behavior, 3 units
THE 112 – The Timing of Christ’s Coming, 2 units

Semester 5: 10.5 units
ENT 140 – Romans, Ch. 1-11, 3 units
EOT 101 – Old Testament Survey II, 3 units
LS 120a – Elementary Hebrew, 1.5 units
THE 110 – Israel in Prophecy I, 3 units

Semester 6: 10.5 units
ENT 141 – Romans, Ch. 12-23, 3 units
ENT 144 – Galatians, 3 units
LS 120b – Elementary Hebrew, 1.5 units
THE 111 – Israel in Prophecy II, 3 units

Bible Certificate Program
In this program, students can study the Bible with us for one year and receive a Bible certificate upon satisfactory completion of the required curriculum.

Curriculum for the Bible Certificate Program – 1 year
First Year
The Bible Certificate Program includes all associate degree courses excluding Theology (THE) 100 through 112.

Spiritual Enrichment Program
The Spiritual Enrichment Program is designed for those who wish to study the Bible through Family Radio School of the Bible, but whose schedule will not permit them to take a full academic load. Students admitted to the program may take any course and any number of courses offer by the school. A certificate of completion will be issued to the student after the fulfilling all course requirements in a topical series. These completed courses can then be transferred into the A.R.E. degree program of Bible Certificate Program towards class prerequisites.

Curriculum for the Spiritual Enrichment Program

Certificates of Completion:
ENT 148, 149 – A Survey of Romans
EWS 100, 101 – Expository Biblical Word Studies
ENT 142, 143 – I Corinthians
ENT 144 – Galatians
LS 101-104 – Greek
LS 120-122 – Hebrew
EOT 160 – Hosea
ENT 112, 113 – Gospel of Mark
ENT 100, 101 – New Testament Survey
EOT 100, 101 – Old Testament Survey
PBT 101-104 – Practical Biblical Theology
ENT 140, 141 – Practical Theology of Romans
THE 100, 101, 110, 111, 112 – Theology

I’ve sent a request in for information. At this time I do not know the tuition rates. I do know that some of the classes require that you buy cassette recordings.

Jackson Reverdy Orrell (Merry Christmas !)

The great part of having your own website and blog is the ability to instantly share photos with friends and family. Today was one of the best days of my life, as I got to hold my grandson, Jackson Reverdy Orrell, for the first time.

Sara came home from the hospital last night, less than 48 hours after having Jackson, via c-section. With all of the doctors and nurses constantly around, she got little sleep or rest in the hospital and welcomed the opportunity to go home.

Over the next few days I’ll post a few photos. These were taken this afternoon, the developed at WalMart. I gladly paid the extra $2.85 per roll to have them scan the photos.

Here’s one of my favorites of Jackson and his grandfather. Jackson’s the one with the most hair.

If you want to see all of the photos you can go here.

My Dad would have been very happy. We’ll be taking my Mom back with us back up to Pennsylvania on Christmas morning. I’ll get some more photos then.

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Harold Camping – Family Radio

HaroldCamping.jpgThis isn’t a good photo of Harold Camping, founder of Family Radio, but it is the best I can find.

Mr. Camping has a radio show called ‘Open Forum’ which airs live nightly. Callers phone in and ask any questions on the bible they want.

He has come under considerable attack over the last decade for predicting the date of Christ’s return and the end of the world, as we know it. More recently, he has stated that the church age has ended and that little is being done in churches to save people. Many consider him to be a cult leader.

However, with all of that said, I listen to him many evenings as I’m laying in bed. Regardless of his ‘predictions’, I feel he is an outstanding bible teacher. Just because he is considered goofy in some areas, doesn’t mean the rest of his message is wasted.

The one thing I really like about him is that he takes a direct biblical approach on many touchy areas of the bible; such as, homosexuality and women teaching in the church. He isn’t afraid to quote the bible in these areas and point out the fact that ‘man’ doesn’t know more than God.

On the Family Radio website are mp3 archives of his shows. They are free for downloading. I believe they have every show back to the beginning of 2004.

AllWorship.com

AllWorshipCom.jpg

I’ve recently come across an interesting website called AllWorship.com.

It is an internet based Christian radio station. Best of all, is that its free !

There are several streams available:

Contemporary Worship (1 stream)
Praise & Worship (1 stream)
Christmas Music (3 streams)
Spanish Worship (1 stream)

From their website:
AllWorship’s Basic Stream is broadcast at 20 Kbps and is absolutely free. We are a listener-supported station, so donations from our listeners literally keep us “on the air”. We are able to provide an added bonus to those listeners who donate to AllWorship — they are able to listen at a much higher quality 64 Kbps Premium Stream. This is our way of thanking our donors for their continued support.

There is quite a bit of difference between the free 20 Kbps and ‘paid’ 64 Kbps. It doesn’t take a math major to see that the premium stream has a 3 times quality value over the free stream. They even give you a quick sound sampling of the 64 Kbps stream.

The Contempory Worship is described as “Today’s best worship music presented by current Christian music artists and worship leaders”.

The Praise & Worship is described as “The top worship songs presented by worship leaders and Christian artists with a congregational approach”.

Parts of both of these styles overlap; however, I prefer the Praise & Worship style more. It’s almost impossible to find a radio station with this type format on a 24 hour a day basis.

In the Baltimore area, I really only have access to three different Christian radio stations. The one plays more older, stoic type music. The other ones are OK. All 3 have ‘sermons’ from time to time.

The premium subscription for the 64 Kbps feed is $40 per year. That’s less than a dollar a week and is very reasonable. There are no commercials.

A hyperlinked graphic to AllWorship.com now appears on the right side of this blog.

Pay them a visit and see what you think.

Jackson Reverdy Orrell

I just spoke to Sara. She sounded tired, but said she is feeling OK. I don’t think she has gotten much sleep.

She was getting ready to feed Jackson.

Sara said she and Jackson are coming home from the hospital today.

She also said that he weighed 7.23 pounds.

Jackson Reverdy Orrell

Every now and then, you are able to make a very happy entry into your genealogy database.

Below is the best entry, I’ve ever made in my 21+ years of genealogy.

Jackson Reverdy Orrell is the 28,647th person entered in my Reb4 database.

ReverdyJacksonRM1.jpg

A Happy Database Entry

As everyone knows, genealogy is my main hobby. I’ve had a passion for it for well over 20 years now.

Every now and then, you are able to make a very happy entry into your genealogy database.

Below is the best entry, I’ve ever made in my 21+ years of genealogy.

Jackson Reverdy Orrell is the 28,647th person entered in my Reb4 database.

ReverdyJacksonRM1.jpg

Jackson Reverdy Orrell – b. 20 Dec 2006

It is with a great deal of pleasure and pride that I announce that my grandson ….

Jackson Reverdy Orrell was born at 11:08 PM, 20 December 2006, at York County General Hospital, York County, Pennsylvania.

Sara is doing well after the c-section, and is looking forward to being home by Christmas Eve.

I’m sorry that I don’t have the weight or any more information at this time.

We were only able to see him for a minute, before he was even weighed or measured. The nurse said he looks very healthy and in good shape.

While I was able to get a quick photo on my cell phone, I don’t know how to get the jpg off and posted.

We will be going back up on Christmas Day when we’ll get some photos.

The proud daddy is also doing well.

The Reverdy name now continues in our family in six straight generations.

1. Reverdy Benson Stewart, Confederate soldier, uncle of
2. Reverdy Lewin Orrell, Sr.
3. Reverdy Lewin Orrell, Jr.
4. Reverdy Lewin Orrell, III
5. Reverdy Lewin Orrell, IV
6. Jackson Reverdy Orrell