I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, and a pretty severe case of it, in about 1991. That means for the last 27 years I have slept with a strap around my head, and a mask that forced air up my nostrils. This forced air keeps my air passages open, and doesn’t allow me to stop breathing. With that to allow me to continue to sleep, I sleep really, really well. Although it is not limited to overweight people, sleep apnea is pretty common for those that are. Recently, I have been asked if I have tried to sleep without my c-pap machine, since I have lost so much weight. No, I haven’t; and to be perfectly honest, I don’t know that I will! You see, I have become so used to wearing that cumbersome mask and headgear, I don’t know that I could sleep without it. You become so accustomed to doing something, you don’t function without it.
Routine and habit are two very important words to me. I do much better at everything, if I can get into a routine. From the time I get up, to the time I go to bed — I really sort of like being on a schedule, and I don’t function as well when my schedule gets out of sorts.
Having said all that, let me say that I have been “out of sorts” for the whole month of February. My office at the church building has been enlarged to the point, that I get everything that I need in one place. I told one of my elders, Ken Thomas, that this office has become the perfect “man-cave” for me. If I were to design what I wanted for “MY” space, it would look a whole lot like this new office does (and I hope to have some pictures on here within the next couple of weeks). But, it is not quite finished yet, and until it gets finished — I am going to continue to struggle functioning as I know that I need to.
It all started the last week of January, when I rearranged my morning schedule. Instead of going to the gym just any time during the day, I started scheduling to go at 6:30 every morning. I need, for my health’s sake, what I do at the gym; and needed to get it a steady rotation in my life. My goal is 5 days a week, and I am averaging about 4. But, for today’s discussion — that change disrupted my mornings (most notably, the time that I wrote this blog).
But it did not intensify the changes until Friday morning, February 2.
That morning, I started “unloading” the office — books, desks, papers, computers, files, coffee pot, etc. — everything! Two rooms had to be done, and they were completed on Saturday morning about 11:00. Sunday, February 4, I left for Jackson, Tennessee; to attend the Freed Hardeman University Bible Lectures. That Monday, Jimco construction started the remodeling project, with the intent to have it finished by Friday afternoon. Well, I got back Thursday evening, and Friday they were still working, and Saturday, and Monday! Well, Monday the were completed inside enough that I could start moving my books and over essential back into the office — enough, that I actually taught my Tuesday Bible class in the office. But having all the stuff in the office is not having everything where you can find it and use it. The whole week of February 12-16, I was in the process of organizing everything. If you know me very well, I can get pretty obsessive about that kind of thing. It was beginning to take shape, looking like it could be used.
This past week, February 19-23, I have been bringing books, file cabinets and miscellaneous items from home to put in the office. That schedule was disrupted by a trip on Tuesday to Joplin. I went to the “Preaching and Teaching Conference” at Ozark Christian College with Vance Eubanks (Senior Pastor at Prairie Grove Christian) and his brother-in-law (who is a translation missionary in New Guinea). Had a wonderful trip, with lots of marvelous conversation, and heard two really outstanding speakers — Drew Moore (Be Strong and Trust) and David Rutherford (Be Strong and Obey).
Hopefully things are going to start settling down. Just two more things to upset the apple cart: (1) a trip to Florence, Alabama for the 50th Anniversary and alumni gathering for International Bible College (Heritage Christian University); and (2) start digging out the boxes in storage that have books, papers, and files in them. About these two items, I have not been on campus of IBC (while it was in session), since about 1984. I am really looking forward to attending this, and seeing friends that I have not seen in a long, long time. As for the files, I might get through organizing them, some time this summer.
In the last two days, I have received 3 new books (at least, new to me). I am really excited about reading these books, so much so, that they have moved to the top of the “too read” stack. In fact, I hope to have two of them
read within the next 10 days, and start writing reviews for them on this site.
First, and on top of the stack, is Karl Vaters’ new book Small Church Essentials. In fact, this book is so new, that it has not be released yet. I am on the launch team for the book, and I received a free copy early. Let me be perfectly honest, all you had to do to be on the launch team was just ask. I am thrilled to be able to do it, but anyone could have. Vaters is someone that I really enjoy reading. He has done some really good work on his blog, PIVOT; and I know that this book is going to be really good.
Next, is a book that Vance Eubanks talked about on our trip, The Divine Mentor by Wayne Cordeiro. Not only did Vance tell me about it, he gave me a copy of the book (two free books). It is a book about developing a personal Bible study, that will help you grown and be more effective. I have been looking for something that will help me to use my time wisely in the early morning hours (before going to the gym), and I hope that this will be the answer. Want to do a review of this book from 2007 real soon.
The final book is by Steven J. Lawson, titled Famine in the Land. This book is from 2003, and is about the compelling need for expository preaching. I am a believer in expository preaching, and committed to getting better at my craft. It is my plan to attend an intensive three day seminar in Conway with Dr. Lawson in August, and wanted to do some reading about his methods and mechanics. This book has moved up in the stack, but it probably won’t get read until March, after I finish the February book on preaching (Why Johnny Can’t Preach).
May the Lord answer you in a day of trouble; may the name of Jacob’s God protect you. May he send you help from the sanctuary and sustain you from Zion. May he remember all your offering and accept your burnt offerings. (Psalm 20:1-3, CSB)