Thursday, 23 February 2006

Temporomandibular joint disorder. Apparently I had it. I’ve been grinding my teeth for years, but in the last months it’s kicked into high gear. It’s likely stress-related. Oddly enough, I don’t recall much grinding when I used to smoke. Still, listing the pros and cons of smoking against those of TMJ, I’m inclined to believe that TMJ is a better deal.

So I’m currently seeing the best dentist I’ve ever known. I’ve never had a phobia of the dentist’s office, and have generally had good dentists. This guy tops them all. He’s so meticulous about it all. It’s hands down the most professional office in which I’ve ever been seen.

So anyway, the headaches were persistent and my jaw was popping more regularly, so he offered to fix it. Ususally it gets done with just a bite guard that you wear when you sleep. But there is apparently a new technology that can help. So I went in yesterday afternoon for a TENSing.

Transcutaneous Electrical Neuromuscular Stimulation, it was. Basically they hook your jaw up to a couple of electrodes and put one more at the base of your skull. Then they apply regular electric stimulation for about a half hour, forty minutes. What it does is cause your muscles to unlearn the patterns they’re used to so that your jaw can reseat itself in its “happy place.” Darned if it doesn’t work. The headaches are gone, my jaw doesn’t pop, and things just feel altogether in better alignment. In a few days the bite guard comes in. If you suffer from any of these symptoms, talk to your dentist. If you can get TENSed, it’s worth it.


Accedat verbum ad elementum et fit sacramentum.

Thursday, 23 February 2006

Yeah. I hadn’t posted for a bit, so I figured this one was worthy of some Latin so’s this here blog might look a bit more respectable. It probably didn’t work. Whatever.

But the quote is nonetheless appropriate. Yesterday I had the honor of speaking the Word that God both placed into my mouth and combined with water to extend the blessings of his reign to yet another soul. It couldn’t get any better. But in a coram hominibus way it did, and this due to the setting and circumstances. This baptism happened in jail, and this person had not, prior to incarceration, been a Christian.

The circumstances by which I got involved in this situation were odd. That is, one would have to absolutely discount the hand of God in them to see them as anything more than amazing — and I mean amazing — coincidence. My wife had made a spontaneous and otherwise inexplicable and uncharacteristic invitation to a group, and we met. A few weeks later this person was arrested and all the spouse had was a faint memory of “that one pastor guy.” It went from there.

Sometimes God works in obvious ways.

Jail restrictions make ministry interesting and necessarily creative. But it’s been frankly rewarding. To hear an inmate, who is potentially looking ahead at many years in a federal penitentiary, say of the experience that, “[Arrest and imprisonment] is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. If this hadn’t happened I wouldn’t have known about Jesus and what he’s done for me,” is frankly beautiful and unnerving at the same time. The decision theology that is evident among the chaplaincy in the facility has been a struggle for this inmate, but one for which the inmate has been armed with a Bible and a Small Catechism.

So if you would, please offer a prayer of thanks for this child of God who has been added to your family in baptism. Please pray for strength and peace for the family. And please pray that God would continue strengthen and preserve this new Christian in faith in Christ Jesus unto salvation.