Friday, January 29, 2010

Abuse of State Property

Last weekend a friend of mine swapped out the engine in his VW Rabbit. It is from the mid 80’s sometime, has been modified to run on vegetable oil, and more information is available on his blog at He borrowed a barn at another friend’s house in the county and got together a crew of folks to help him with the swap. Many tweets are available about the swap as well as lots of pictures on Facebook. Being mechanically minded I was asked to document and blog about the event and just provide moral support.

The original plan was to spend the evening Friday and then the day Saturday helping, um, er…I mean watching the swap. However, as with most plans in my life, things changed.

Some other friends, and yes, I know you are shocked that I have friends, were going to be in town and wanted to have dinner with us. These are actually Heather’s friends. She was Eric’s nanny when he was first born and her husband is a state trooper. Sorry it took 3 paragraphs to get to that part. So Friday night we had dinner with them and then in a complete abuse of state property he and I went out to the engine swap.

We drove up the driveway with the light flashing, which were rather blinding in the country darkness. As soon as the confused engine swappers opened the door I came on the loud speaker saying something like, “Come out with your hands up. We have the barn surrounded as an automobile chop shop. Please bring your VIN paperwork with you and come out with your hands up.”

A good time was had by all. Then Saturday morning I was planning to go back out to the barn to check on progress however we had a major internal DNS glitch on our networks at Faith so I spent most of the day working on that instead of watching them work on the engine. I did eventually get out there in time to see them fire it up and start some testing.

I’m looking forward to serving the great people of the state of Indiana again in the future and answering questions at the inquiry.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Grandpa Update

I spent some time with my grandfather yesterday and am pleased to report that he is doing well.  He has been doing his therapy and is recovering and healing nicely.  He has also been amazed by the outpouring of support and prayers he has received.  Grandma showed me a pile of cards tonight that was 14" high and growing daily.  And yes, I actually did measure it.

Grandpa is gaining more and more mobility each day.  The current plan is for him to resume his normal schedule next week.  Your prayers are appreciated as his schedule is hectic enough for a healthy 80 year old, let alone a healthy 80 year old recovering from a broken hip.

It is my prayer that I'm as active for the Kingdom as he is when I'm 80.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

What's up with my Facebook posts?

For those asking why my Facebook status updates are a bit odd here's the answer. I update my Facebook status from my Twitter feed. I prefer Twitter to Facebook because it is short and sweet however I understand there are many who prefer Facebook to Twitter. That’s why I have both so that I can reach folks who are on one or the other.

Twitter has its own language which is why my tweets on Facebook appear odd with @’s and #’s and references to other Twitter users (@4faraday is my dad by the way). That is also why they are so short since tweets are limited to 140 characters. Twitter also uses URL shorteners like and tiny.url to shorten long links due to the 140 character limit. Those links still work on Facebook but are not as common which often confuses folks.

Being able to link Twitter and Facebook helps me as I can communicate through both forms of social media but I only need to keep one of them current. For me, that’s Twitter. I do respond to those on Facebook who comment and I find myself explaining my Tweets but I rarely if ever update my Facebook status directly. I just let Facebook pull it from Twitter. Same is true with my blog. My blog posts are also posted to my Facebook page.

My goal is to communicate with folks where they are. Even though I prefer Twitter I understand the value of Facebook and enjoy doing things on Facebook that you can’t do on Twitter, especially with pictures and tagging, so I plan to continue using both – even if my Facebook status updates seem a bit odd in that world. Just poke me, post a note on my wall, or comment and I will try to clear things up in a non-discriminatory social media kind of way.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Grandpa (Dr. Bob Smith) Story

Many are asking for the full story of what happened to my grandfather, Dr. Bob Smith. Our family is humbled by your concern and grateful for your prayers. I’m sharing the story here mostly out of selfish convenience to provide everyone the same information all at once. Please don’t read this and then not ask grandpa what happened the next time you see him. I don’t want to rob him of the joy of sharing how God is using this in his life in his own words.

Here are more details then you ever wanted to know.

On Monday, January 4 grandpa left to get the newspaper at the mailbox around 11:00am. The mailbox is located about 2/10 of a mile (1056 feet) down the lane where they live. He thought about driving but grandpa likes the cold weather and with a fresh coat of light snow he wanted to take a walk. The temperature was around 11 degrees with a wind chill just below 0. So he put on a coat, hat, gloves, and a pair of rubber boots and headed down the lane. Grandpa is 80 years old.

Once he got to the mailboxes he noticed a slick spot in front of them. He carefully got the paper but when he went to head back to the house he slipped and fell. He landed hard on his right side and being a retired physician as soon as he hit the ground and felt the strong pain he knew he had broken either his hip or pelvis.

There aren’t many houses along the lane but he started to call out for help. No one was around so he tried to get up on his knees to get back to the house. He got up on his left knee but was unable to put any weight on his right knee. He said he heard crunching which he thought was bone-on-bone however we learned later that there was no bone-on-bone damage. Unable to get on his knees he rolled to his left side and started crawling back towards the house. He used his upper body to drag his legs along and whenever possible used the snow and ice so he could slide, all the while praying that God would send help.

Grandpa has been reading Gripped by the Greatness of God by James MacDonald. One of the applications in the books says, “I want to love God so much that I trust His every decision no matter how hard that may be.” As a result grandpa was determined to grow more in his love for the Lord as one of his goals for 2010. God was giving him an opportunity to begin applying his goal four days into the New Year.

As he would crawl he would pray for help and while God said no to providing help God did provide strength and energy for him to continue inching towards home. At time he said he got so tired he would think about just closing his eyes, going to sleep, and waking up in Glory. He said freezing to death wouldn’t be a bad way to go as you just go to sleep and he is not scared and is looking forward to heaven.

The conflict became his desire to continue being a good steward of what God has given him and his desire to meet his Savior. Even though God was not immediately providing aid He was still providing energy so grandpa decided that as long as he had the strength he would press on. And so he did.

About half way home, 528 feet later, the neighbor boy came out and saw grandpa. He had rolled off to the side of the road under some pine trees to rest. The neighbor boy asked if grandpa needed help and he said he needed a blanket, his wife, and an ambulance. The neighbor rushed to get grandma, some blankets, and call 9-1-1. The tried to warm him up with some blankets until the paramedics arrived 15 minutes later. By this time he had been outside for over an hour crawling on the snow and ice.

When the ambulance arrived the driver and paramedics both recognized grandpa from his days as an Arnett Urgent Care physician.

My wife notified me at work that grandpa had fallen and was being taken by ambulance to the hospital near the church. I left the church and actually beat them to the hospital. While I was waiting for them to arrive in the ER I looked out the window and saw grandma’s car come up over the bridge on the way to the hospital. A few seconds later I saw the ambulance.

Once he was checked into the ER the x-ray revealed a clean break of his right hip. He was placed on the surgery list and was third for surgery the next day, Tuesday, January 5. They did their best to keep him comfortable during the night and 26 hours later, at 2:22pm he went into surgery. They installed some material to stabilize the bone along with 2 screws. At 5:45pm he was back up in his room sleeping, but having difficulty getting comfortable. You see, grandpa likes to sleep like my son, his great-grandson, by turning every which way all over the bed.

We appreciate your continued prayers for his recovery. While the hip has been repaired there is still a bit of healing to do. He is going home from the hospital on Friday, January 8. He will have 6 weeks of physical therapy after he gets home and then he won’t be able to drive for 8-10 weeks. The surgeon said his bones were strong and since he is in good health, with the physical therapy, he should be walking without assistance in 10 weeks.

No final decisions have been made about is speaking schedule for February and March. The surgeon thought it premature to start changing any existing plans.

It has been encouraging for us all to see how grandpa is using this experience to grow closer to God. He often asks those he counsels why a sovereign God allows things, just like this, to happen in their lives. Grandpa is a great example of practicing what he preaches and showing others the glory of his Savior through this experience. He is showing us that he is growing in his love for the Lord so that no matter what God does in His life he won’t view it as bad.

Cards of encouragement can be sent via Faith Baptist Church.

Faith Baptist Church
c/o Dr. Robert Smith
5526 St. Rd. 26 E.
Lafayette, IN 47905