Tuesday, February 26, 2008

What Accent Do You Have?

I recently stumbled upon an online quiz that tests what type of accent a person has. Surprisingly, I supposedly have the Midland accent even though I've never lived in that region. Since it's the "no-accent" accent, I wonder how they determine that that's really the "pure" one? I'm sure the proponents of the Queen's English would have some thoughts on that. I guess at the very least I can be thankful that all those years in the South hasn't rubbed off on my speech! Perhaps all that TV I watched as a kid was good for something after all? (I still don't recommend it.) ;-)

Here are some sound bits of linguistic counsel to cogitate on:

The guidance of the Spirit never leads to indistinctness of speech. The Spirit takes the things of God and presents them through the human instrument to the people. Then let them come from our lips in the most perfect manner possible. {VSS 189.3}

We should be careful not to give an incorrect pronunciation of our words. There are men among us who in theory know better than to use incorrect language, yet who in practice make frequent mistakes. The Lord would have us careful to do our best, making wise use of our faculties and opportunities...In reading or in recitation the pronunciation should be clear. A nasal tone or an ungainly attitude should be at once corrected. Any lack of distinctness should be marked as defective. Many have allowed themselves to form the habit of speaking in a thick, indistinct way, as if their tongue were too large for their mouth. This habit has greatly hindered their usefulness. {CT 238-239}

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The West
North Central
The Inland North
The South
The Northeast
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Ellen on Romance

I've noticed that the advertisement industry recently has turned up the ante in anticipation of the Feburary 14 holiday. From flashy posters of brand new pink colored iPods to craftily clever montages of "The Top 10 Worst Valentines Gifts," advertisers are attempting to convince consumers that their products will be just the ticket to melting the heart of the love of your life. Valentines Day is all about exhibitions of people's true love, isn't it? But should conscientious and [gasp!] "CONSERVATIVE" Adventists have any part in such activities? I mean, can you imagine Ellen White participating in a public exchange of affection with her husband, James? Doesn't she frown on all this "romantic stuff?" So, what DOES Ellen have to say about this?
  1. Let each give love rather than exact it. Cultivate that which is noblest in yourselves, and be quick to recognize the good qualities in each other. The consciousness of being appreciated is a wonderful stimulus and satisfaction. Sympathy and respect encourage the striving after excellence, and love itself increases as it stimulates to nobler aims. {AH 107.3}
  2. (Speaking of married couples) Determine to be all that it is possible to be to each other. Continue the early attentions. In every way encourage each other in fighting the battles of life. Study to advance the happiness of each other. Let there be mutual love, mutual forbearance. Then marriage, instead of being the end of love, will be as it were the very beginning of love. {MH 360.2}
  3. (Speaking to a husband who fails to express affection) At present she feels that she has not your heart's affections. You have given her occasion to feel thus. You perform the necessary duties devolving upon you as head of the family, but there is a lack. There is a serious lack of love's precious influence which leads to kindly attentions. Love should be seen in the looks and manners and heard in the tones of the voice. {AH 109.1}
  4. Love can no more exist without revealing itself in outward acts than fire can be kept alive without fuel. You, Brother C, have felt that it was beneath your dignity to manifest tenderness by kindly acts and to watch for an opportunity to evince affection for your wife by words of tenderness and kind regard. You are changeable in your feelings and are very much affected by surrounding circumstances. . . . Come to your family with a cheerful countenance, with sympathy, tenderness, and love. This will be better than expending money for medicines or physicians for your wife. It will be health to the body and strength to the soul. {AH 111.2}
  5. Love cannot long exist without expression. Let not the heart of one connected with you starve for the want of kindness and sympathy. {MH 360.1}
Obviously, this is not an exhaustive study, but here's my synopsis: There is nothing wrong for husband and wife to seek fresh methods for openly expressing their love for each other. In fact, expressions of love ought not just be reserved for February 14 each year, but should be regular and frequent. Ellen quite emphatically states that if you don't have outward acts of love, then you aren't truly loving at all! Naturally, there must be a difference of application for those married and those not married, but the principle that "Love cannot long exist without expression" holds true across the board. Contrary to popular misconception, it appears that Ellen White was not so anti-romance after all!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

LL Sabbath Destinations

This is a picture of my grandma (far right), my mom (middle), and me on the steps of Burden Hall, home of Advent HOPE Sabbath School. This is where I normally attend Sabbath School when in Loma Linda. I was very happy that I was able to teach one of the Sabbath school classes today. This particular class has been going through a verse-by-verse study of the book of Daniel. We got to go through the first four verses of Daniel 12. I was encouraged doubly, 1) that although slightly impaired, I'm still capable of teaching (I am an education major afterall) and 2) several individuals commented afterwards how the study made them eager to dive into the study of Daniel again. I must confess that I was slightly distracted by the decreased mobility of my arms (it's amazing how much I talk with my hands!) I just hope the students weren't too distracted by their teacher's arms flopping all over!

This Sabbath afternoon some friends and I were able to go to Azusa Indonesian Church to hear a teacher and good friend, Peter Gregory preach. I was promptly reminded where I learned to preach so much with my hands. ;-) His message was on Ezekiel 8 & 9, and the need for us to root out the abominations in our lives and to learn to sigh and cry like Jesus. Powerful stuff. Peter and I used to be workout partners at the Drayson Center gym when he lived in Loma Linda. It was great to see him, and he's eager for me to get well so we can do push-ups together again. I can't wait. :-)

You may wonder why I'm wearing that strange white sling on my right arm. You see, because I have had significant weakness in the muscles of my right shoulder, the sling is there to help prevent my arm from sliding out of socket. There is a secondary purpose for the sling, also though. The first day I went to church without the sling, nearly everyone gave me a good whack on my right shoulder in greating. There was even o
ne sincere but overzealous gentlemen who patted my sore shoulder repeatedly for our entire dialog. I quickly learned that the sling can be an effective form of passive self-defense.

Wishing everyone a happy new week.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Happy New Year!

No, I'm not a month late. Today, February 7, is Chinese New Year. It is the year of the rat, and it happens that I was born into the year of the rat as well. I don't believe in horoscopes, but it's remarkable how many traits of the rat applies to me. (I'm sure I would probably feel the same way when I look at all of the other 12 Chinese Zodiac Animals.) If you're curious about what the rat year means to those who are superstitious enough to buy all of that, you can check it out at Wikipedia. I found no instances of the word "rat" in the Bible, 2 hits for the word "mouse," 4 hits for the word "mice," and none for "rodent." (Am I missing any synonyms?) Suffice it to say that the Bible doesn't have many flattering things to say about the rat or their near relatives. :-(

Since I was languishing in a hospital on January 1, I'd like to take the opportunity to wish everyone a blessed new year. A few things I especially want to take to heart in this new year is to cherish and value the important people in my life more. We never know when we will see each other for the last time. Additionally, I've been indelibly impressed with the urgency of the time we live in. God's work demands our utmost and fullest attention. We can't live "normal" lives any longer. God's appointed work for us is of far more consequence than the office of President of the United States, which is getting so much attention lately. I hope this new year brings to you a deeper appreciation to the VIP's in your life, and also a renewed dedication to God's work too.

Happy New Year of the Rat!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Friday, February 1, 2008

Post-Viral Transverse Myelitis

I've received a few requests for an update on my status since having returned home two weeks ago, so here it is. My weeks have been filled with an assortment of irregularly timed events from doctors appointments (I'm following up with three), outpatient rehab therapy (6 sessions each week), and lots of visitors. I also was able to visit the Loma Linda Chinese Church last Sabbath for two of three meetings with Alden Ho. My strength has been improving steadily, albeit in minute proportions. Weakness still persists in my deltoid and bicep muscles. Literally everything else is working at a normal level.

Perhaps the most substantial update has to do with my latest diagnosis. The neurology team here in Loma Linda has reviewed my case and done more tests. They conclude that I actually did not have a spinal cord infarct, but that I had a condition called transverse myelitis, which is a condition which the myelin insulation on my nerves are stripped off. This condition offers a more positive prognosis, but has a much broader base of sources that may have caused it. The worse case scenario being that I have multiple sclerosis or a variant of it. So far, all the tests indicate otherwise and there are one or two more to be done for some other possible super-rare viruses (one that I'm being tested for is a strange virus that is only found in Okinawa...where I've never been.) At this point, the most likely explanation is that the virus I fought during the cold I had in November caused an autoimmune response in my body that attacked my spinal cord, a condition called Post-viral Transverse Myelitis. This is a transient event that rarely occurs a second time. At any rate, the neurologist will continue to follow up on my case just to make sure nothing is creeping up on me over the next few months and years, but it appears that there will be no more surprises on this most interesting case. Special thanks to Dr. Norman McNulty for managing to get a neurology grand round to take a look at my case.

I've intended to post some photos up, but have not had the convenience of a camera handy during any Kodak moments lately. Hopefully I'll be able to get some up before too long. Happy Sabbath!