cipro 500 mg In the dim light, a ranking began. Nurses opened each chart and read the diagnoses, using flashlights sparingly to save batteries. Pou and the nurses assigned a category to each patient. A nurse wrote“1,” “2,” or “3” on a sheet of paper with a Marks-A-Lot pen and taped it to the clothing over a patient’s chest. Other patients had numbers written on their hospital gowns. Many of the 1’s—roughly three dozen in total from Memorial and LifeCare—were guided down to the emergency room ramp. The airboat flotilla was beginning to make runs to dry ground, and the plan at first was for these patients to go out on them. LifeCare nursing director Gina Isbell and Memorial nurse manager Karen Wynn took charge of the patients’ care while they waited on the ramp. It appeared that she had overcome the problem, whatever it had been, until she came home for spring break, when her physical and cognitive issues suddenly got dangerously severe. Bill noticed that she could no longer solve simple math problems; Grace watched her daughter try to eat a pint of ice cream, almost unable to hold her spoon. Then, suddenly, she went from speaking too fast to not speaking altogether. Because of the nature of my illness, and its effect on my brain, I remember only flashes of actual events, and brief but vivid hallucinations, from the months in which this story takes place. The vast majority of that time remains blank or capriciously hazy. Because I am physically incapable of remembering that time, writing this book has been an exercise in my comprehending what was lost. Using the skills I’ve learned as a journalist, I’ve made use of the evidence available—hundreds of interviews with doctors, nurses, friends, and family; thousands of pages of medical records; my father’s journal from this period; the hospital notebook that my divorced parents used to communicate with each other; snippets of video footage of me taken by hospital cameras during my stay; and notebooks upon notebooks of recollections, consultations, and impressions—to help me re-create this evasive past. I have changed some names and defining characteristics, but otherwise this is wholly a work of nonfiction, a blend of memoir and reportage.
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August 1998

August 1998

Dear friends and loved ones,

May the peace and love of God envelop you as we wait in hope for the fulfillment of the ages to come upon us. Each day the excitement level rises as world events unfold according to biblical patterns and the decrees of King Jesus. May we redeem these times of unprecedented opportunity by harvesting large numbers of souls.

I know that I keep sounding the same note in much of my writings, or maybe the same two or three notes, but these are themes entrusted to me, burdens placed on me by God. Here it is, past time for another newsletter, and my spirit is stirred by some of the same familiar messages. Here we go again. First I wish to vent my anger over our incessant "I’m just a dirty sinner" syndrome.

DIRTY SINNERS

A couple of years ago at Green Oak Ranch, I disrupted a Sunday meeting. We had a local pastor as guest speaker. I think he was trying to identify with the supposed "sinners" in the re-hab program and repeatedly said "I’m a sinner. We’re all sinners. All have sinned. Is everyone here a sinner?"

He was stunned when I stood up and loudly proclaimed, "I am not a sinner. When Jesus died for me, it worked. I have a new heart, and a new identity. I am a new man, and that old nature, that sinner, I reckon dead. I don’t want to acknowledge him or give him the time of day. I am a righteous child of God, not a sinner."

There was a period of embarrassed silence, and the guest fumbled through the rest of his message, but to this day he has never returned. I love the man and feel badly about embarrassing him, but I feel worse about perpetuating a destructive, fine-sounding, religious error. It sounds so good, so religious, but it is toxic and heretical. Let me explain.

For starters, this emphasis gives us a license or permission to sin. "Of course I sin. I’m just a dirty sinner, and that’s what sinners do. You can’t be all that upset with me just because I sinned. What do you expect from a sinner?" John said, "My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin." 1 Jn. 2:1. In this letter, John makes it clear that all have sinned, and yet we are called to not sin, but if we do (when we do) Jesus is there as our Advocate with the Father.

Here it is in a nutshell: I used to be a sinner who once in a great while made a feeble attempt to do good. Then I was born again and became a saint. Now whenever I sin, once I come to my senses, I quickly repent and run to God for forgiveness and mercy. But I no longer relate to God as a sinner since I am a beloved son. When I was a sinner, my attempts to do good did not make me a saint, and now that I am a saint through the blood of Jesus, when I slip and sin, I do not lose my status as His saint and become a sinner again.

GOD LOVES SINNERS

God loves sinners. Jesus died for sinners. God’s will and His heart towards sinners is that they repent and come out of their living death. "As I live says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked should turn from his ways and live." Jesus even became sin for us, or He became the sinner, so that we could become righteous children. God loves sinners so much that He provided the way for their rescue from sin.

"Sinners will not stand in the assembly of the righteous." Ps.1:5 This scripture clarifies the only two categories there are: sinners and righteous. I always want to be among the righteous.

We have often heard the parable of the Tax collector and the Pharisee and mixed up the categories. The Tax collector who called himself a sinner, went home justified or forgiven, or righteous in the site of God - no longer a sinner. The Pharisee was SELF righteous, which is the sin Jesus was addressing. Unlike the Tax collector, he had not received the righteousness of God, the righteousness earned by Jesus, the righteousness given by faith that far exceeds the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees.

Everything a sinner does is sin. It is impossible for a sinner to please God. A sinner is not redeemed, not regenerated, not "born again." When a sinner does repent (turn around, change, become born from above) there is a huge party in heaven with great rejoicing and celebrating. This person was dead, but is now alive; was lost, but now is found.

RELIGIOUS STUPIDITY

Somehow we think we are honoring God by putting ourselves down. That is not true. We foolishly let the old nature remain alive by identifying ourselves as sinners, instead of righteous children. The clear command of God is to reckon that sinner nature as dead, and live according to the Spirit, according to Christ in you, not retreating into the false identity of the dead sinner. Leave him dead. Every time he raises his ugly head, put him to death again through repentance and faith.

When I was a denominational franchise director (as opposed to the Crushed Grapes Franchise Director) we used to confess our sins as a part of each service. We said, "O Almighty God, merciful Father, I a poor miserable sinner confess unto You all my sins and iniquities with which I have ever offended You and justly deserved Your temporal and eternal punishment, but I am heartily sorry for them and sincerely repent….." It is true that I had sinned, but during the times of sanity, I apologized to my Father and thanked Him for the blood of Jesus and forgiveness. I walk and live in the forgiveness of sins. But here, in this religious setting, I owned and re-affirmed my old nature even if only for a few minutes. That is a bad, unbiblical, debilitating thing to do, even if it seems so religious and right.

I had intended for this sinner business to be only a short note but realize I have been going on and on and on. I hope you get the point. If not, please love me anyway and pray about who you really are, and the effect some of the religious high places have on your walk in Christ.

WORKING ON A BOOK

I believe that in a matter of months the present world system will be coming down and the birth-pangs ushering in the thousand year reign of King Jesus will get stronger and stronger until the final push - something akin to the Passover for the coming out of Egypt or the flood in Noah’s day.

For those with eyes to see, this process is already well under way. Some sense it, and are working hard to prepare for survival. Some sense it, and are consumed with fear. Some sense it, and are distracted by end time theology and y2k speculations. What is the proper response? How should we behave?

If our hearts are not broken over the lost, our hearts need repair. If we are not suffering with those of our family who are suffering so terribly, we need spiritual balm and healing. If we are not motivated to raise the banner of God’s love and mercy while there is still time, then our corruption is gangrenous. It is time to speak with others of Jesus. It is time to be courageous in confessing Him before men, whether embarrassed or not. It is time to get off our religious high horses and speak to the lost sinners with the broken and bleeding heart of Jesus, instead of with our pious wall-building platitudes.

As disciples of Jesus, we too should take advantage of each situation: "As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming when no man can work." Jn. 9:4 Then Jesus said, "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." V. 5

Jesus also told us, "You are the light of the world." Matt. 5:14. And, "Let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." V16.

The book will be titled (I think) Not In Darkness, from 1 Thess. 5:4, and will deal with prophecy, the signs of the time, and some of the trigger events that have already set in motion irreversible consequences. (i.e. the y2k situation which even if "fixed" has already sent a huge snowball of fear and panic down the mountain which will affect the banks and money supply no matter what happens with the computers.).

The biggest concern I have about writing the book is that it might not motivate God’s people to get off their duff’s and do the work of evangelism. If it only adds to the pile of predictions and reasons for more severe judgment, I will be very unhappy and discouraged.

SARAH

My daughter Sarah received a total hip replacement on her left side August 12. Because of the angle of her leg, they were planning to do another osteotomy, cut and turn the leg bone, as well as implant the prosthesis. Once they cut out the terribly deformed head of the femur, the doctor said there appeared to be plenty of mobility and that the awful angle of her leg had been caused by the arthritic crippling of the hip, and so he did not have to do the osteotomy as well. Hallelujah! He said the ball of her hip looked like a mushroom which someone had stepped on.

Please keep her in your prayers for a quick recovery, that the pain in the right hip might be diminished and re-structured by God, and that another replacement surgery will not be necessary. God grant that this powerful spokesperson for the pre-born will soon be back in the Lord’s service.

 

CRUSHED GRAPES DAY - Please note the flyer on the back of this newsletter and pray about attending September 11 -13,1998. In the past, these gatherings have been very exciting and inspiring.

 

AMERIVISION’S Lifeline long distance telephone service can be obtained and Crushed Grapes benefited. Call 1-800 800 7550 and specify #66514 for us to receive 10% of your long distance bill.

I love you all and bless you in the name of Jesus. May you be found alert and doing great exploits when our King returns. Maranatha!

Love, Frank


Frank Smith
Director
(760) 641-0251