Pray for Nora Nagaruk . Two days ago, she and her husband, Nathan, celebrated their second wedding anniversary. Today, she's having a stem cell transplant for acute myelocytic leukemia, the same disease that killed her dad in 1979.

She's a doctor, and had just finished her second year of residency, when she was diagnosed last year. She and Nathan are salt of the earth people, and they could use any spare prayers you've got.

Here's something she told me about how important prayer has been to her. "I feel like (God) is taking care of me physically, it's been made more tangible. "You know things about God's character - that he is loving and caring - but when you are lying in a hospital bed and you can feel people praying for you, it's like God has come to me down to my bedside."


A confession.

About a week ago, after much wrangling back and forth with Jeff Sharlett over at The Revealer, , an essay of mine on AIDS in Africa and some recent criticism of Uganda's ABC program was published. It's a good piece and an important topic. I was looking forward to some rigorous and thought provoking debate on it.

Then along came Josh , who has called me a fraud, an liar, a f*cktard (not sure what that is) and stunted intellectual with ego issues, as has, while repeatedly misquoting them, accused the souces I used of academic dishonesty and fraud. So the rigorous debate has basically degenerated in to a pissing match between the two of us. I've even taken to mocking him on his website. It's not exactly a very Christian thing to do, and wiser man would ignore him.

But, as my episode with the garage door demonstrates, I'm not exactly brimming with wisdom these last few days.

In my own defense, I did try very patiently to have an adult conversation with Josh in the comments section. Unfortunately he is a true believer (though not the Christian kind) and I should know better than to try and reason with him.


There are much worse things happening in the world today, and worrying about nitpicking over a blog essay seems like a waste of time, doesn't it?


OK, so I am getting old.

"Can you close the garage for honey?" my dear wife asked me on Tuesday night.

When I walked out the door, I thought to myself, why is the door hanging at an angle. Turns out one of the springs on the side has lost tension, and the door is now longer counter balanced. Garage doors, in case you haven't discovered this, are really heavy. And they hurt when they fall on the side of your head, which happened after I pushed on the door, and the wheels on one side came off the track.

I used to be pretty handy but since I traded my hammer for a word processor more than a decade a go, I've lost whatever skills I used to have. This did not deter me from trying to fix the door.

The result was a burst of swearing from me as the door fell further and further off track. My friend Chris had to come and rescue me. It was close to midnight before the door was finally laid to rest on the side of the driveway and my car was freed to await the morning commute

From some very cursory research, I found that getting the door fixed would cost somewhere between $200 and $500, not exactly the kind of spare change I have lying around in the drawer (especially with 3 kids and a mortgage).

Fast forward to last night, about 9:30. The kids were finally in bed, and I on my way to the kitchen, wondering where the money for the door was coming from, when I heard a knock at the door.

My friends Bev and John were outside. "We heard about your garage door troubles," Bev said, as John stood by the wounded garage door, looking it over.
Then it dawns on me. John used to install garage doors for a living.

He moved over to the garage and after glancing at the rails and spring says, "I can fix it."

Saturday morning, John and I will be fixing the door. Actually he'll be fixing the door, and I'll be doing whatever John tells me to do.

Thank God for friends and small graces.


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