Sunday, September 25, 2016

American Bible Challenge

I have been watching Netflix quite a bit the last few months and have watched all available seasons for a couple of shows. After I finished another series, a suggestion came up for a show called the "American Bible Challenge." It sounded interesting, so I started watching it.

The show starts out with three teams of three members each. They are asked questions along the way and earn points for correct answers. Eventually, the teams go down to one player and the two top scoring teams go on to the final challenge.

In this last contest, the players are given a subject followed by ten minutes of "good old fashioned Bible study." Finally, the teams are asked questions, one player at a time, and they see who can get the most correct answers in one minute. The winning team receives $20,000 for a charity and return for the semi-finals. If this is won, the charity receives an additional $20,000 and a chance in the finals. Winning everything grants another $100,000 to the team's charity.

Over about two weeks, I watched both seasons available on Netflix. For most questions, I could get the right answer before the team replied, especially in multiple choice. The second season added a few physical challenges as well, but I still got most questions. My main day helper got most of the answers as well, so we just need a third team member and we're ready to play.

The stage didn't look very wheelchair friendly, but I imagine it could be adjusted. I think it would be fun to play something that is great to study. Choosing a charity could be difficult since I can easily think of five I would love to see the money go toward.

Unfortunately, with the challenges of the quad life and reality getting in the way, I doubt it will ever happen. In any case, it was fun to test my knowledge and see the contestants succeed. Maybe sometime I'll get to try it, but until then life goes along as God has planned.

Monday, September 19, 2016


School is in full swing and last Thursday I had my first visit of the year. I started off with a combined 3rd and 4th grade consisting of just nine students. Their teacher is also a former high school classmate of mine, so she gave the class a few Joel tips.

The first presentation of the year is usually a bit rusty, but I think I got mostly everything included. One boy loves trains, and LEGO, and was excited to hear that I do as well. I'm a railfan that hasn't been track side much at all these past few months, but he didn't mind.

When I asked what they thought I did for work, most guesses were in the railroad industry. I could be a train conductor, dispatcher, or the guy that gives out tickets. Kids come up with some interesting careers for me, but I think I'll stick with what I'm currently doing.

This class had a first for me, they wanted to see how fast I could go. Therefore, after we were done, I followed the students out to the playground for a demonstration. A couple boys ran beside me for a race to test my speed claims.

I always enjoy doing these talks and working with the students. I never know quite what to expect, but God has given me experience to usually come up with an answer. By the end of the school year, I'm sure most of my teaching has been forgotten, but I hope some remains.

When I have small classes like this, I sometimes imagine them taking a field trip to my house and really showing them how I do things. However, I think trying to come up with a better video or mobile demonstration would be better.

Another school is scheduled for later this month, so I'll see what questions and job possibilities arise. I would love the job of raising a few of these kids myself, but that is not part of this quad life. I'm thankful God has allowed me to work with so many kids already though and hope it will continue.

Monday, September 12, 2016

3 in 1

My parents are on vacation this week, so I have my bachelor pad to maintain. It's just me, and caregivers around the clock, some of whom are my grandmothers. With that crew, I have a real party time.

Yesterday, my regular day helper covered the day shift. We went to her church in the morning so her husband could join us and still have family time. Unfortunately, he forgot and didn't come and it ended being just the two of us.

Every year, my church has an outdoor picnic followed by an afternoon service. This happened yesterday, so I had one less meal to plan and was able to fellowship with my regular church.

In the evening, my mom's mother and older sister came to help cover time. During supper, we watched their church live online, and I had my third church service from the third church in one day.

After a day of hearing the gospel from different perspectives, it was good to reflect on everything I had been given. One of the sermons was from the book of Ecclesiastes and being content with what we have. He gave statistics that the U.S. has about 5% of the world's population, but we own 20% of the wealth. The average American family spends more on trash bags every year, to throw out stuff, than some families spend on food.

It's hard to be content with what we have, but I'm trying to remember this in my daily life. Things may not seem great to me, but I live in a country that I can freely attend as many Christian services as I want. I can also freely speak about life in Christ without fear of being jailed, or worse.

Next week will likely be back to normal with attending two church services both at the same place. Until then, I'll see what God has in store for this quad life I've been given.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Summer Sounds

This past Friday and Saturday night, I did not have a night nurse. That meant again staying up until early morning to help my parents stay awake. Saturday was also a cool day that allowed for us to open the windows. The combination of the two allowed for a symphony provide by God's creation.

As the clock ticked on, the serenade of night creatures made my mind wonder to the few nights I've spent outside. The subtle sounds and seeing the stars make a great end to summer and allow it to last a little longer. Friday was also filled with sounds of nature, but from a different source.

When I finished biking last week, an updated computer system was being installed on it. Friday was my first time using it. For over the last year, my view while on the bike was a stationary person on a bicycle going toward a city that never came closer. The update allows for a different experience.

I now watch as an animated man bikes down a road with curves, hills, and trees. As you progress in miles, he eventually goes through a small town and then back into the country. Along the way, you hear birds chirping in the trees and cars driving in town. If any of the other patients at the rehab center could hear my sounds, I'm sure they were wondering what was happening in my area.

My assistant and I decided that the biker on the screen was not a good representation of me. First, he was going down the center of the road, I would be courteous enough to go to the side of the road. The character also did not have on a helmet, but did have on shoes. Neither of these two items would be me on a bike in real life. However, I think my avatar should have a helmet on for my next adventure.

On this last unofficial day of summer, make sure to stop your labor and enjoy the subtle parts of the world around you. Some days in the quad life make it happen more than others, but it's something that should never be taken for granted.