Mike Corthell

Mike Corthell
Editor & Publisher at Fryeburg Free Press MEDIA

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bullies Beware: Town Rallies Around Student


A mid-Michigan community cheered on a 16-year-old sophomore -- the victim of an apparent prank by classmates -- as she took her place with other members of her high school's homecoming court.

 Whitney Kropp, left, and Josh Awrey
Whitney Kropp was escorted by her father and grandfather onto the Ogemaw Heights High School football field Friday night in West Branch, about 140 miles northwest of Detroit.

Kropp was named to the homecoming court of the 800-student school earlier this month, but said she felt betrayed after some students suggested her selection was a joke. She said she had been picked on in the past, but it intensified afterward.

Her story has sparked national interest and on Friday, residents and business owners in the West Branch area turned out to the game to show their support and help take a stand against bullying.

Orange T-shirts -- Kropp's favorite color -- have been sold with the slogan "It's not cool to be cruel."
"It's just so much right now for me," Kropp said Friday night. "I had thoughts about not coming but I actually changed my mind and came out. I just thought maybe I won't have fun. But I'm having a lot of fun right now."
Her gown, jewelry, shoes, hair styling and makeup were donated.

"The kids that are bullying, do not let them bring you down," Kropp told reporters. "Stand up for what you believe in, and go with your heart and go with your gut. That's what I did, and look at me now. I'm just as happy as can be."

Many in the stands, even students from visiting Cadillac, wore orange, as did Kropp.
"It wasn't right what they did to her," said Alexis Dahlstrom, a 16-year-old Cadillac junior. "We wanted her to know that there are people out there who support her."

Dahlstrom and her friends learned about Kropp's story on Facebook.

"Whitney is strong. I don't know that I would have had the courage to go," 15-year-old Ogemaw Heights sophomore Heather Oyster said.

Ogemaw Heights won the homecoming game, 24-21, over Cadillac.

http://kidshealth.org/kid/grow/school_stuff/bullies.html

Friday, September 28, 2012

Video Slide Show: 2011 Fryeburg Fair

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

with Millie, At the Fair




At the Fair

We saw Bob Marley there
- at the Fair

I saw a woman with purple hair

Food and smells and
livestock – chicken?

Saw kids and their ice cream lickin'

Horses raced..
they even paced
I picked a winner, #33
didn't bet, shame on me

I held hands with my pretty girl
she keeps my mind in a swirl!

Pictures, pictures – we got some
but most of all we got fun!

Michael
September 25, 2012


MIKE CORTHELL, Producer at ddTV


Hello,

My name is Mike Corthell.

I work for dd.TV.com and I would like to come in and see you soon and show you, on my iPad, what kind of TV video and web TV products I can produce for you. 

We do 15, 30, 60 min. TV commercials as well as web TV for TODAY IN THE VALLEY, a TV program about the businesses in the Mt. Washington Valley. 

We are a Chamber member and do offer a great discount on our products for fellow members.

I can even produce a cutting edge web site at a very competitive price,  where you can embed your video to sell your products!

I look forward to seeing you TODAY IN THE VALLEY!

Regards,

Mike Corthell

Mike Corthell
Marketing Director/Field Producer, dd-TV.com
603-986-8110

How Do You Rate Memorial Hospital?

Many positive changes in Memorial Hospital's building and services
 have been made over the past 100  years.
Some residents and visitors ask if it's all been for the better.
There were 26 responses to this week’s Tele-Talk question: “Has there been a noticeable change in services at Memorial Hospital, North Conway, New Hampshire in the past few years?”

The only changes I’ve seen at Memorial is it’s just going downhill, downhill, downhill. It is a bandaid hospital. It is terrible. People get misdiagnosed or terrible treatment. It’s awful. It’s not a real hospital. A real hospital has standards, like Maine Med. And of course Maine Med is larger. They’re a fantastic hospital. Memorial should be embarrassed. I just think it’s gone way down hill. People joke about the hospital being terrible. That’s where you go for a broken arm; it’s a bandaid fix — that’s it, nothing major. If you need surgery you better head out of town.

Yes, there’s been a big change. It’s much more expensive and it takes forever in the emergency room. They all do a good job, but it’s just way too expensive. And leave the library people alone down there on the board. The board knows what it’s doing. The private sector pays for the public sector anyway; it’s not a big deal to have people reapply for their jobs. I’m surprised that wasn’t the question this week.

Oh, there’s been an incredible change. They’ve done an incredible job at the Memorial Hospital. I can’t say enough good about it. And all I can say is if we can get Obama elected for another four years, the way he’s straightening out the country, maybe he can come up and help the Memorial Hospital. Maybe some of these people who aren’t working — we’re paying for them anyway — we can get them working at the Memorial Hospital.

The hospital’s added the  wound care and sleep care. The CEO was also very helpful in getting the kidney dialysis unit into town. I think it just shows the hospital is looking out for the community and health care needs.

Most concerning in the change of services is the loss of pediatricians Dr. Ross Emery and Dr. Rich Laracy since they recently ended their hospital association and pediatric coverage. Multiple other providers and support staff have also left in the last one to two years including Dr. Root, Dr. Siddiqui, also both of Saco River Medical Group. Some of the providers who have left have been among the best providers in the valley, including Patty Duprey, Dr. Lisa Khoury, Dr. Linda Haller and Carrie Trumble-Curtin. They were each compassionate, well-respected and good providers who really took the time to listen. This is more than the normal turnover. What is going on up there?

The biggest thing I’ve noticed at the hospital is that it is easier to see my primary care doctor. If I think I need to be seen, I can get in the same day. If my doctor is off, I am sent to another doctor.  Much improvement in service there.

Just this past week yet another person I know was misdiagnosed at Memorial Hospital. This has happened far too many times over the past years as doctors come and go at the revolving door at Memorial Hospital. To close the pharmacy to the outside I’m sure was a dollars and cents decision, which I can certainly understand, but it also deprived the community of having a pharmacy accessible on that side of town. So, I’m not so sure all of the decisions have been good ones. I am interested in having more than 15 minutes with a doctor because although that looks good on paper it simply doesn’t work; it has driven a lot of people away. I’m also interested in correct diagnoses.

My name is Angus Badger. I returned to Mount Washington Valley as a physician and to Memorial Hospital about 11 years ago after practicing and training in the interim all over New England, in cities and in rural areas. Although the delivery of medicine is constantly changing, I can honestly say that this hospital’s current physician, nursing and ancillary staff are, as a whole, not only one of the best I have worked with, but the hospital organization — from the board of directors to the staff to the volunteers — is focused more than any time I can remember on the community it served. All this at a time when the rules of medicine seem to be changing daily. I’m sure there will be some who respond to this Tele-Talk with valid concerns, with stories where the hospital could have done a better job. I think that it is very valuable to the organization to hear that feedback and constantly improve. I can say that we are daily upgrading our delivery systems, electronic medical records, phone systems, etc., to try and meet the changing situation. Like every hospital in the country we are trying to be better and do better all the time. I feel that we as a community are lucky in that we have such a great core of professional staff to help make what will be a very turbulent coming decade in medicine a success for people who live and vacation in the Mount Washington Valley.

This is John from Conway. I find it funny to say they’re streamlining systems and cutting costs, but yet in The Conway Daily Sun it talks about the CEO making almost $300,000 a year plus getting $50,000 in perks. If they’re so into cutting costs, why are they giving $50,000 to their CEO in perks? Would that not pay for somebody’s salary for the year? I think it’s just a contradiction of terms. And I think if they were really interested in streamlining costs then it would show.

Most definitely. It’s lost small town appeal and has squelched a lot of valley residents from seeking medical care there. With the implementation of the new phone system it’s easier to walk in and schedule an appointment rather than to deal with the confusing telephone prompts. In addition I find it very disconcerting that Dr. Richard Laracy and Dr. Ross Emery have terminated their affiliation with Memorial Hospital. This is a tremendous loss for the community and I would strongly encourage Memorial Hospital to do whatever it takes to reinstate these privileges. Lastly, I’d like to add the closing of the pharmacy was upsetting to many, especially elderly patients who now have to travel elsewhere to pick up their prescriptions.

There have been changes and certainly not better for the patients. It costs more to have labs and radiology done at Memorial than almost anywhere else in the state. The board of directors need to be looked at as they are the ones controlling the hospital. By the time you add all of the new CEO’s bonuses, he’s not making that much less than the old CEO, who ran a great organization — Mr. Poquette. He brought the hospital up from where no one in the Valley wanted to go and today all of his hard work is being undone, and we are back where it was 35 years ago. Progress, they say? I’m calling from North Conway.

The scheduling and phone systems that they changed last year are very hard to negotiate and it’s very hard to get a live person if you want to talk to somebody in your doctor’s office.

My name is Angus Badger. I returned to Mount Washington Valley as a physician and to Memorial Hospital about 11 years ago after practicing and training in the interim all over New England, in cities and in rural areas. Although the delivery of medicine is constantly changing, I can honestly say that this hospital’s current physician, nursing and ancillary staff are, as a whole, not only one of the best I have worked with, but the hospital organization — from the board of directors to the staff to the volunteers — is focused more than any time I can remember on the community it served. All this at a time when the rules of medicine seem to be changing daily. I’m sure there will be some who respond to this Tele-Talk with valid concerns, with stories where the hospital could have done a better job. I think that it is very valuable to the organization to hear that feedback and constantly improve. I can say that we are daily upgrading our delivery systems, electronic medical records, phone systems, etc., to try and meet the changing situation. Like every hospital in the country we are trying to be better and do better all the time. I feel that we as a community are lucky in that we have such a great core of professional staff to help make what will be a very turbulent coming decade in medicine a success for people who live and vacation in the Mount Washington Valley.

I have noticed a positive air in the hospital environment — employees seem to be much happier in their worksite. However, oddly enough, when I show up for an appointment there, chacges are pretty good they have no record of it. I don’t understand that and that seems to not have changed. However what will change at the hospital on Jan. 1 will be Obamacare, where the hospital will be known as the house of doom for people over 65 years of age. No longer will you go in and request a procedure and they will do it for you — 65 year olds will be subject to a board that will see whether this is worth it based on their remaining days on this planet. And chances are it won’t be approved and you’ll just get a pain killer until you are done with. So, to my fellow naive senior citizens: No one is taking your Social Security away, but Obamacare will take your life away.

Yes, there has been a noticeable change and it’s not just the last few years; it’s about 10 years. At this point, Saco River Medical Group has it all over the hospital as far as service goes.

I love Memorial Hospital. Their nursing staff is the best I’ve ever seen. Their cafeteria is spectacular. And I hope those things never change. The only change I’ve seen is in the ER at night there’s a doctor — and I can assure you, if you don’t have insurance, there is nothing wrong with you. He will not let you in no matter what. That’s the only complaint I have. Do try to avoid his shift if there is anything wrong with you. 

Yes, for the worse. You have to wait forever to get to see your doctor, then when you get to the hospital you  can’t find a place to park. You have to wait 30-plus minutes in the waiting room. Once you get into an exam room, it’s another 15 minutes or more before the doctor comes in. Then the doctor is so rushed,  he says hi, what’s wrong and goodbye. Memorial Hospital should go to Main Med Partners in Scarborough, Maine, to see how to run their practice. This is Betty in Jackson.

There have been a lot of changes at Memorial Hospital, positive and negative. Regarding the recent article about the salaries that was just in the Sun last week, I was appalled at the salaries, even though the board chairman said that Scott McKinnon’s is much less, but with all his benefits, his retirement, his bonuses, we’re looking at just over $300,000. And also with John Newton, his salary of half a million dollars is absolutely absurd. Those salaries, the positions, the small community hospital, articles speaking of the cuts and the freezes at this time, and the comment about not looking at the doctors at this time, if you’re making the cuts with the other staff  it’s not going to matter as far as the doctors.Time will tell, with Scott there, how things turn out.

Memorial Hospital, I believe, is lacking the services of a geriatric doctor, neurologist and other practitioners, at least on a part-time setting at this hospital. I say this because my husband was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. I have done some research and found that this disease will become an epidemic in less than 30 years, while one in eight of those over 65 have Alzheimers disease, almost one in two of those over 85 have it. It will replace cancer as one of the most dreaded diseases, as this country is expected to beat most forms of cancer in the next five years. It is a slow sad death for the Alzheimer’s patient and emotionally painful and monetarily devastating for the caretaker. It is a middle class economic security issue that could be our next financial tsunami and could eventually end the middle class. I know five people in my personal life who have Alzheimer’s disease. I’m sure most people know at least one. We should not be quiet and be scared of this illness. We should talk about it, be aware of it. This country should spend more money on research and treatment of this disease, which it doesn’t. After all, it’s an aging person’s disease and who cares about old people anyway. Unfortunately, people under 65 are also affected. I hope Memorial Hospital is listening. Diane, Intervale.

In the article last Tuesday, the hospital CEO may be making near the mean for other hospital CEOs, but he’s still getting his raises and bonuses, which the hospital support employees are not. Also the doctors’ salaries are based on how much money they bring into the hospital, so the top doctors’ salaries that are quoted in the paper are misleading. The hospital makes money off the doctors.

The services at Memorial Hospital — there is a noticeable change, but what is noticeable is the staff. The staff has been underpaid for the last two years while Scott McKinnon has gotten a 10 percent raise. The staff has not gotten a raise. The staff is overworked and underpaid. They’ve lost many benefits and that is sad. This is Tom from Albany.

There have been very noticeable changes in the hospital in the last few years. One is you go there, if you’re a patient, they put you in a room, they come down, they do your vitals, then somebody brings you a tray of food. Shift change, they come down, they take your vitals, next thing you know food shows up. If you see a nurse, it’s not your nurse and when you ask them, can you get my nurse, they don’t pay any attention. When you make an appointment there, they will leave you sitting. First they  take you out of the waiting room, they put you in a little room. My last experience of being put in that little room, I sat in that room for an hour and a half. It was 5:30 p.m. The only people left there was the cleaning staff. The nurses had left, the doctors had left and I was still waiting, even though I had an appointment, I was still left waiting. They care less about the person and more about let’s get this moving, quick, quick, quick; time is money. Well, I think Mr. McKinnon should maybe drop some of his cash for the people who can’t afford medical treatment. They’ve made it so they don’t take half the insurance people have any longer. It’s a cash only business and that’s exactly what it’s turned into.  If you don’t have the cash, they don’t want to see you.

Earlier in the week it says Scott McKinnon makes $280,000. Do you know what it’s like when you’re trying to pay off your hospital bills and you make $120 a week, and you have an accident? Your employer pays nothing for insurance; you’re expected to pay for it on your own. And then when you set up a payment plan with these people, if you miss one payment, they call you and make you feel miserable. You regret that you needed medical assistance from Memorial Hospital, because if you miss a payment they haunt you day after day until you make your payments. Well, you know, when it comes between feeding my children and feeding myself and whether you get your $10 this week, I got to tell you, it’s real sad. Here he is making over a quarter of a million dollars and they’re harassing me because I missed one $10 payment. You know, my employer doesn’t offer insurance. If I had insurance, I’m still going to have a co-pay, and you folks are still going to ride my butt until I make my co-pay. Don’t you think it’s enough to worry about being sick or having a sick child, without having somebody call you every day to remind you that you missed a payment. What are you going to do? Come take the stitches out my leg? Take the cast off my child’s arm? Scott McKinnon should give back some of his quarter of a million dollars so that I don’t have to worry about what happens when my son’s broken arm heals? Am I going to get crap because I have to go up there and get it cut off and have it charged and another co-pay that takes food out of my son’s mouth just so Scott McKinnon can feel happy about all the progress. They’re not more professional; if anything they are cold, hard-hearted jerks. And they don’t care about the people they serve. They don’t. Scott McKinnon should be right there with Tara Thomas in the library group that wants to throw away four valuable people. They’ve got it so streamlined that you’re not a person. You’re a number.

Memorial Hospital is “cutting costs?” I’m outraged at the charges for a recent standard cataract procedure, for uninsured patients. The $5,445 charge is for six things: anesthesia, operating room, pharmacy, pharmacy other, recovery room, and supplies ($1,638!)  Even at a Medicare approximate rate of about 36 percent reimbursement, the charges are still high. But they will simply be passed on to our grandchildren. Memorial must have a budget crisis, but dumping their charges on the uninsured, or grandchildren is outrageous. Fryeburg.

Yes indeed, there has there been a noticeable change for the better in services at Memorial Hospital thanks to their restructuring. That said, I’m astounded Mark Housell was not out in front of the Hospital picketing. Conway. 
http://www.conwaydailysun.com/index.php/opinion/tele-talk/92788-tele-talk-responses-has-there-been-a-noticeable-change-in-services-at-memorial-hospital-in-the-past-few-years

Monday, September 24, 2012

Clint Eastwood Hits Home Run with New Movie




Few things bring about nostalgia Americana like high school baseball, hot dogs, small town diners, honkytonks and a Clint Eastwood Western. Throw in a couple of classic muscle cars, too, and you have Eastwood’s latest, “Trouble with the Curve.”
“But wait,” you might say, “I didn’t know Clint Eastwood’s new movie was a Western.”
Well, it is and it isn’t.
It’s actually a movie about baseball, growing old and reconciling with the people nearest to us who have also hurt us the deepest.
But like the old Westerns, the good guys are good guys, the bad guys are clowns, there’s a faithful old friend who saves the day and a renegade youngster who sees the light and gets the girl in the end. The good guys also stand in the dusty street, stare down the bad guys, and when the smoke from the shootout clears, there’s only the hero left standing.
For all those reasons, “Trouble with the Curve” is a home run of a movie.
The theater in my town was filled for the film, largely with an audience who still remembered when baseball was America’s pastime and who could relate to Eastwood’s frustrating foibles with growing older.
Many were the laughs shared by the graying audience, and even a whippersnapper like me thoroughly enjoyed the film. It’s not terribly original or likely to garner Oscars, but “Trouble with the Curve” is entertaining, occasionally funny, often heartwarming and just a decent, feel-good movie.
Eastwood’s performance in the film as an “outdated” baseball scout who is losing his eyesight and his reputation is stellar, and John Goodman’s role as his longtime friend lends a great supporting touch. Amy Adams doesn’t do her best work here, but she’s very believable as Eastwood’s daughter, who grew up trying anything she could to please her now estranged daddy. Adams and Eastwood are simply charming together.
There are a few moments in the film that are unnecessarily crass and a few when the director went a bit overboard trying to elicit emotions. I really didn’t like the depiction of the bad guys as so obviously bad as to be mere caricatures instead of real characters.
Nonetheless, the painful reconciliation and redemptive story between father and daughter makes “Trouble with the Curve” shine.
At one point, the daughter is reminded that in baseball a player is considered a superstar if he succeeds at the plate but 3 out of 10 times. Instead of giving up on her cantankerous old codger of a father, she’s told, she should put those other seven failed attempts behind her and swing again. The way she responds, the courage and love she shows for her dad, is beautiful.
And when her courage finally causes that hardened old nut of a dad to crack … well, I don’t want to give away any spoilers. There’s a twist to the story at the end that really tugs on the heart strings.
Though not without a few faults and not terribly original, “Trouble with the Curve” is still the kind of film most movie audiences in America really want to see: powerful, positive, redemptive and fun. Clint Eastwood has come through in the clutch again and shown he’s one player who isn’t ready to be “put out to pasture” just yet.
Content advisory:
  • “Trouble with the Curve,” rated PG-13, contains about 70 obscenities and profanities. Most are the less severe variety, but still, there are several moments in the movie where the cussing just wasn’t necessary and detracted from the script.
  • The film contains some sexual references and innuendos, a scene where a man is urinating at a toilet, some sexual aggression by a drunk bar patron, a reference to sexual abuse and some kissing. There are, however, no sex scenes. The only “nudity” is a bit of cleavage and a scene where an adult couple strips down to their underwear and runs off a pier to jump in a lake.
  • The film has a few violent moments, including a car accident, a flashback of a fist fight and a scene in a bar where one man pins another against the wall and threatens to kill him. None of these are overly stylized or gruesome, but merely present as part of the storyline.
  • The film has a few religious references, including writing on a tombstone and a joke about God “misunderstanding” a prayer, but no occult references.

http://www.wnd.com/2012/09/clint-eastwood-movie-hits-home-run/


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Song: Autumn-day is coming








Autumn-day is coming
(sing to the tune 'Brother John')

Green leaves are falling
Green leaves are falling
To the ground
To the ground
Autumn-day is coming
Autumn-day is coming
All around
All around


Red leaves are falling
Red leaves are falling
On the ground
On the ground
Autumn-day is coming
Autumn-day is coming
All around
All around


Orange leaves are falling
Orange leaves are falling
On the ground
On the ground
Autumn-day is coming
Autumn-day is coming
All around
All around


Brown leaves are scattered
Brown leaves are matted
On the ground
On the ground
Autumn-day is over
Autumn-day is over
Ding-dong-ding
Ding-dong-ding!




- Mike Corthell

Mt. Washington: World Record Wind

The Observatory - September 2012
During a wild April storm in 1934, a wind gust of 231 miles per hour (372 kilometers per hour) pushed across the summit of Mount Washington. This wind speed still stands as the all-time surface wind speed observed by man record. Below are excerpts from then-observer Alex McKenzie's book The Way It Was which accounts in detail the experience of documenting and living to tell the tale of a 231 mph wind.


Tuesday, April 10, 1934

The sun rose on April 10, 1934, ushering in a typical April day atop Mount Washington. Normally, the rest of New England welcomes the warmth of spring during a typical April, but winter keeps hold on the high peaks of New Hampshire's Presidential Range well into May in most years.
The staff at the fledgling Mount Washington Observatory, including Salvatore Pagliuca, Alex McKenzie and Wendell Stephenson managed to make it through their second full winter on the mountain. However, they were anxiously awaiting the coming of spring, with its more moderate temperatures and wind. Before the week was out, those men would not only get another severe taste of winter, they would be a part of one of the most intense storms in recorded history.
April 10 was the tight-knit summit crew's first day without Robert Stone, one of their coworkers who was injured in a skiing accident. He was taken down the mountain on a toboggan on April 9 to seek further medical attention on his severely bruised hip. Down a man, they would have to get by on their own for a while, with some help from their guests, Arthur Griffin and George Leslie.

Read More....

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Feeling Great Delight!


Contemplating the greatness of God puts our problems in perspective. Here is what it comes down to: Big God, small problems. Big problems, small God.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! When the apostle Paul wrote these words, he wasn’t kicking back on some Mediterranean beach. He was incarcerated, under house arrest because he had appealed to Caesar as a Roman citizen. He was waiting for the time when he would have his moment with the leader of Rome.
Greg Laurie
Paul didn’t know what was going to happen. He didn’t know what his future would be. To make matters even worse, some of the Christians were against Paul and were criticizing him. So Paul, in a difficult situation, trapped in this prison cell under house arrest, said, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4 NIV). In the original language, this is not a suggestion; it is a command.
In the worst circumstances imaginable, Paul was saying, “Hey everyone. News flash: Let’s all lighten up a little bit. Rejoice in the Lord always.” Anyone can rejoice when things are going reasonably well. But when you are facing adversity or hardship or sickness and then you rejoice, you are obeying God.Some people may be more prone to worry and anxiety than others, but that doesn’t rationalize it. I think we would all do ourselves a favor if we would stop taking ourselves too seriously and lighten up a little bit. I think we can find humor in a lot of situations, sometimes even very difficult ones.
The book of Proverbs says the cheerful heart has a continual feast (see Proverbs 15:15). Scripture also tells us that in God’s presence there is fullness of joy, and at his right hand are pleasures forevermore (see Psalm 16:11).
And listen to this prayer from Habakkuk the prophet: “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior” (Habakkuk 3:17–18).
That is like saying, “Even when the car has been repossessed, and there are unpaid bills piled up on the kitchen counter, and everyone in the family is sick, I am going to still rejoice in the Lord.” Notice Habakkuk didn’t say he would rejoice in his circumstances. He is rejoicing in the Lord.
You see, God is still on the throne. God still loves me. God has promised that he can work all things together for the good of those that love him (see Romans 8:28). He has promised that he never will leave me or forsake me. So I can rejoice. It is not about rejoicing only when everything is going well. It is rejoicing in the Lord regardless of how things are going.
When Paul and Silas were in prison, we read that “about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them” (Acts 16:25). When you are in pain, the midnight hour is not the easiest time to rejoice in the Lord. Nor is it easy to rejoice when you are in the hospital waiting room when a loved one is having surgery. There are a thousand other scenarios we could come up with. But we are to rejoice in the Lord.
Contemplating the greatness of God puts our problems in perspective. Here is what it comes down to: Big God, small problems. Big problems, small God.
If I see God in all of his glory, then I will see my problems in their proper perspective. It is not that a problem isn’t serious; it is just that God is greater. And if you see that, it will change the way that you pray. It gives you some solid theology before you even start to pray.
What happens with worry is that our hopes pull us in one direction and our fears pull us in the other. And we find ourselves focusing on the wrong things in life and completely missing the point.
The apostle Paul goes on to say, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6–7 NKJV).
The promise, if we pray this way, is that God will bring us peace: “The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
The word “guard” in this verse is a military term that means “to stand guard.” So Paul was essentially saying that God will stand guard over your heart day and night if you will pray about everything with thanksgiving. I like that. Sergeant Peace has been assigned to watch over your heart. But you need to pray about the things that are causing you anxiety.
Maintaining personal peace involves both the heart and the mind. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you” (NIV).
I have put this passage to the test. I faced the worst-case scenario when our son died. When I got the news, I felt as though I could have died on the spot. And I will tell you that I cried out to God, because I needed his help to get through the next five minutes, not to mention the next hour, day, week and month. But I called on the Lord. And then I filled my mind and my heart with the Word of God. That is how I got through it. And that is how I get through it.
These are not theories; this is truth. And you will find it true for you. I hope you never face a scenario like I did. I hope you never get a call from the doctor with bad news. I hope that you never have to face some of the horrible things that life throws our way. But if you do, I want you to know that God will be with you as you trust in him.

Woman Unknowingly Marries Father


Wedding band, engagement ring
Cathy Kaplan/SXC
(CNN) -
It was a dark secret. The kind that destroys lives, devastates families and decimates faith.
None of it made sense, she said. That's not until her uncle finally told her what no one else had: She had unknowingly married the father she never knew.Nobody shared it with Valerie Spruill while her husband was alive. For years after his death, she heard bits of the story. It was something about an absentee father, something about her husband.
"It is devastating. It can destroy you," Spruill told CNN late Thursday by telephone. "It almost did."
Spruill, 60, of Doylestown, Ohio, went public with her story this month, first published in the Akron Beacon Journal, with the hopes that it would help others facing what seem like insurmountable problems.
It's a story that has gone viral, attracting attention as faraway as Australia and India where the questions are always the same, she says: How could that happen?
It's a question that Spruill said she has been grappling with since she first learned the truth in 2004, six years after her husband Percy Spruill died.
"I don't know if he ever knew or not. That conversation didn't come up," she said. "I think if he did know, there is no way he could have told me."
She confirmed that her husband was indeed her father through a DNA test, hair taken from one of his brushes.
The aftermath of the secret was devastating emotionally -- and physically, Spruill suffered two strokes and was diagnosed with diabetes.
All of it, she believes was brought on by learning the family secret.
"Pain and stress will kill, and I had to release my stress," Spruill said. "I'm just telling the story to release my pain."
She has a deep, abiding faith in God, who she believes has guided her through the experience -- and others that have shaped her life.
"You have to have faith," she said. "If God brought me this far, he's not going to leave me now."
Spruill met and married her husband-father in Akron and settled in Doylestown, a working class suburb of about 2,300.
It was her second marriage. Spruill was a nice man, a good provider. He was kind to her three children from her previous marriage.
"We had a good life," she said.
She initially struggled with anger, with hating Spruill for what happened.
But therapy taught her what happened wasn't her fault. Her faith taught her to forgive.
Initial response to her story has been mixed: "More positive than negative," she says.

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