An Eternal Sixty Seconds
by Paul Walerczak
On June 11th, 2012 at 5:51pm, Lisa and I welcomed our seventh child into the world. Over the past several weeks the anticipation had been building and we were eagerly awaiting the day when Norah Beth would make here entrance into the world.
Things don't often go as planned around our house and the birth of Norah was no exception. Lisa was originally scheduled to deliver Norah on June 19th at 3:30pm. When my lovely bride went in for her regular weekly check up on the 11th her doctor said "I don't feel comfortable sending you home due to the fact you are having so many contractions". Lisa called me to inform me of the news which sent me into a flurry of activity trying to figure out what needed packed for our 6 children at home, who was I going to take them too, and just how in the world would I pull all that off, and get to the hospital in time for the birth of Norah. I am sure I sounded somewhat like a drill sergeant barking out orders and giving directions. I am so thankful that my kids really can do a lot on their own these days and they simply rolled with the punches. I am also grateful for a wonderful supportive family who always seem to step up when there is a time of need.
To the right I have attached a picture of Norah Beth roughly one hour into her new life here on planet earth. We are not exactly sure who sure looks like at the moment. All we know is that she most definatly is a "Walerczak".
The first sixty seconds of Norah's life was somewhat traumatic on ol' mom and dad to say the least. Lisa's doctor pulled Norah from the womb at 5:51pm and quickly showed her to us before handing her to the nurses for them to start their clean up procedure and vital checks of our new baby. At that moment there was something noticeably missing from the operating room. We were all listening for the cry of new life in the room and it simply wasn't to be heard. As I approached the cleaning station, filming the entire event like a good dad should, I realized that baby Norah's color was blue not pink, and that she was not breathing. The nurses were calm, cool, and collected as they messaged Norah's little body, suctioned out her mouth, and eventually began giving her rescue breaths to start her breathing. There was an obvious tension growing in the room. At that moment as much as I wanted to breath for Norah I couldn't. She was in the hands of God and all I could do was pray.
After roughly sixty seconds of silence that seemed like an eternity, Norah coughed, took her first breath of life, and then began to cry. Just like that the tension was lifted. The doctors and nursing staff all began to giggle, laugh, and start the process of reassuring Lisa and I that Norah Beth was going to be just fine.
Since Monday I have had time to reflect on that tense moment of Norah's birth. As always, through events like this, God has been faithful to remind me of some of His eternal truths. As much as I wanted to take a breath for Norah in that moment I simply couldn't. With God's help she had to do that for herself. I know there will come another day in the future when Norah will have to make the most important decision of her life. It really is another life and death choice. At some point Norah will have to make the choice as to whether or not she will allow Jesus to be her Savior and Lord. As much as I may want to make that choice for her I simply cannot make her place her trust in Christ. What I can do is pray, live out the Bible, teach her God's word, counsel her when she has questions, and ultimately point her to Jesus. I am confident of this truth. When the day comes for Norah to make this life or death choice, the One who enabled her to take her first breath of life will also be there to graciously guide her in the most important decision of all.
I Corinthians 12:3B "....and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit".
God's Ultimate App
by Paul Walerczak
In this world filled with gadgets and gee whiz toys I have a found a pretty amazing tool. I now have an Iphone 4S at my side. With the press of a button and a few voice prompts I have world of information and knowledge at my fingertips. My kids and I were having some fun asking the phone the population of various cities and countries around the world. Within a few seconds there in my hand I would have the data to spout back at the kids. I even asked the phone a silly question like "Hey am I good looking" to which the phone responded "I can't answer that right now". That sure gave the kids, and my wife, a good laugh.
Being an outdoor nut I quickly began to look for apps to add to the phone that might help me with hunting. I found two apps that every Iphone outdoor user should have. The first is an app called mytopo. Mytopo was created by the folks at tremble. Within a few seconds you can literally have various topo maps of your hunting properties in your hand. You can mark your stand locations, or possible locations you would like explore , so you can easily navigate to them. You could also mark all the spots you find blood on the ground while you are tracking your wildgame. If for some reason you have to come back the next day and it has rained overnight..no big deal you now have a virtual moving map saved on your Iphone to help you navigate back to the area you last found sign.
The second app that I found to be a necessary tool in my hunting bag, or should I say hunting applications, is this cool digital compass. I took a screen shot from my Iphone and attached it here to the right. It is pretty amazing. With just the swipe of my finger I can change the face of my Iphone to five different styles of compass faces. Pretty amazing! This tool combined with mytopo map application really could help a guy find his way to his favorite hunting ground or even get him out of pinch should he get a little disoriented. Not that getting disoriented ever happens right????
All of these apps that the Iphone offers are pretty neat. The more I think about it though, all of mankind has been given an app that is a far better guide than anything apple could ever create. What is that app you say? The app is none other than God's Word, the Bible. The Bible is the ultimate app to guide us through the challenges that life throws at us. I can honestly say that as I have read the Bible over the years, prayed over what I read, and asked the Holy Spirit to give me understanding, there has not been a time that I have not found the answers I have needed to guide me through any given situation. As a matter of fact look at what scripture says about the Bible being a guide. Psalm 119:105 "Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path".
There are some who are afraid of technology for various reasons and I am not going to debate that topic here. I would simply like to say that technology can be used to glorify God. If you are reading this devotional then right here is one "good" use of technology. The screen shot to the left was also taken from my Iphone. It is a Bible app that I use on a daily basis between my Ipad and now my Iphone. This appliation has various reading plans, one of which is helping me read through the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice this year. With this type of access to God's word we simply do not have an excuse to not spend time in God's word on a daily basis. Remember, the Bible is God's ultimate app and its over arching message always teaches us about the verse I highlighted for you in yellow.
If you would like to learn more about this great Bible app click HERE
Blessings on your week,
Since a young age Pastor Paul has had a love for the outdoors. After he became a Christian in October of 1994 God began to use the great outdoors to demonstrate to Pastor Paul the eternal truths of scripture. In this section he will share some of these thoughts via written or audio devotionals.