Monday, April 30, 2007


Blossoms, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
Although I really want to get going with my garden, I haven't quite gotten things under way yet. This all seems to take time. As I was looking at the big project outside my house, I did see these beautiful Azaleas that the former owners planted.

They planted some strange stuff. Crabapple, Hawthorne (I detest these trees and their 3 inch thorns), and a variety of spruce, maple, yew and juniper trees--I've even got an oak.

I had a bunch of people over Friday and Sunday night for a couple of end of semester celebrations among the h2o community. We started the weekend off with a Pants Party--folks wore outlandish pants, and brought old pants to donate to charity. IT was a great time--I might put a picture up later this week.

Sunday night, we had a little pot luck, and it was a delicious cornucopia of flavor sensations.

I don't really think of myself as a flower person, but I've been trying to take a little more time lately to appreciate things like these blossoms. Isn't it something that God has hard wired an appreciation for beauty into every one of us.

I hope you can take some time out today and enjoy the beautiful weather. Stop and look around you, slow down, and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Blooms, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
Monday afternoon I drove to Parkersburg to join with my family in a meeting with our cancer doctor. When i found out about the meeting I began praying and and I also began bracing myself for some horrible news.

I think my whole family went through those mental and emotional preparations. And when we met with the doctor, there was a degree of relief.

Although my mom has new cancer creating a rash above her right breast, the doctor told us that she would be going home in a couple of days, and then we would begin preparations for the next round of chemo.

Mom's really fighting hard. We're all fighting hard. I cherish your prayers for my family.

As we walked into the hospital on monday, my dad told me about a guy who retired the same day as him. The guy was in a bed on my mom's floor. His family was around him, and he was in a comatose state.

I walked out of my mom's room to go to the restroom, and I ran into my friend Frank Lambert and his fiancée as they walked into frank's dad's room. His dad has esophageal cancer. The outlook isn't good, but I followed them to the room and prayed with his family. While cancer makes things look hopeless, we have a God who is good, and we have hope that will not be put to shame.

Cancer is very indiscriminate. My friend Ben's father has cancer. And my friend Nina is fighting strong against it. My mom runs into people she knows every time she goes for a treatment.

In the middle of all of the weirdness of cancer, I was able to take time to enjoy this bloom from a cherry tree this morning.

In spite of the ugliness we see in the challenge cancer and other evils bring, beauty has a way of triumphing and appearing in some pretty unlikely places. We just need to be aware and looking.

Like the prophet Jeremiah once said,

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

How very true--nothing can stop that steadfast love and faithfulness. I know God is shining through in our lives through it all, and walking before us, with us, and behind us.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


More Brothers, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
One of the best things about this whole cancer challenge is the fact that my family has been so tight through it all. I took this picture of my dad and another one of my uncles this afternoon after he visited my mom for a bit. I love getting together with my family, because we can always find something to laugh about. Laughter is healing. I'm grateful for so many wonderful relatives who taught me from a young age the importance of laughter and the importance of stories.

The uncle in this picture is the one I am named after--he's my uncle Bill. I'm Billy though. That's how you tell us apart. He's another one of my relatives who has kicked cancer's booty.

My family has survived a lot of crazy stuff. Back in the day when Indians received smallpox infested blankets, somehow some of my ancestors survived. We keep on keepin' on. We refuse to give up or give in. In the word's of Joe Dirt, "You gotta not have no in your heart!" We don't lay down easy--we "Endeavor to persevere." (Quote from The Outlaw Josey Wales. Now cancer has tried to come after many of my relatives, but we are fighting the good fight together as we pray for and love one another.

My mom is the latest in that tradition. She's a fighter and she is mega-stubborn. I like it--it explains a lot about me. (By the way--my dad and everyone else in my family are the same way).

So my mom had both of her kidneys blocked yesterday, and she had minor surgery to open up the flow. I think she drained something like 6-8 Liters of fluid in the last 24 hours. She was breathing easier today, but she is pretty tired. She's been through a lot the last few days as well as the last few months. Even amid this fatigue and weakness, she mustered the fortitude to sit up in a chair for a bit this evening. I imagine she will be able to come home soon, but we still have a cloud of uncertainty about that.

Tomorrow more answers should be provided, but for now we wait. We wait to find out what caused the blockage of her kidneys. We wait to find out what is going on with the large rash on her right breast. We wait to find out what the next steps are we should take. And most importantly, we wait on the sovereign LORD to direct us and the doctors in the next step of the journey.

Please join with us in prayer and in waiting.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Brothers, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
Yesterday, my mom was admitted into Camden Clark Memorial Hospital because of some pretty intense breathing problems she was having. I was on my way to a conference, and got word that she was being admitted, and, after getting the counsel my close friend and fellow traveler Brian Shope, I turned the car around to head home to be with her.

Today, her breathing has still been difficult, and we have probably generated even more questions along the way. I wish I had a lot of clear stuff to report, but right now--I've got very little. Yesterday, we prayed that the doctors would have wisdom with regard to my mom's situation. This morning they "randomly discovered" an otherwise unsuspected and unusually high level of creatine in her blood. A catheter was ordered, and then blockage was discovered leading from both her kidneys--two stints were added in an emergency surgery this afternoon. What an amazing answer to prayer--but we still need to continue in prayer--persevere!

Through it all, my mom has been a trooper! The surgery was painful, but she is holding up. I hope we will find out more with regard to her situation in the near future, but I wanted to ask you to continue in prayer.

But not just for her. In this picture are my dad and two of his brothers. Both of these brothers (and a third one not in the photo) have been fighting and beating cancer--they are like inspirations to my mom. Just the same, I ask you to remember each of them in prayer.

As I posted this picture, I noticed that in the reflection on the TV you can vaguely see my sister, my aunt, and my mom. In the middle of all of these battles with cancer, it has been truly amazing to see how much our family has really come out and cared for one another.

I pray that this too might be a testimony to the incredibly gracious love of God that we have all received, and that we might be an encouragement to others fighting this ruthless malady.

We shall overcome! We are more than conquerors!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Waterboyz and Changing Tides

Waterboyz, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
Last night, we almost pulled the biggest upset in our league, and I think that's worth blogging about. Ordinarily, when you lose a game, or even a few games it's not something you want to talk about.

But this team and our community is totally different. Last night we ended the game, and although losing isn't the most fun thing in the world, we were able to spend some time with a bunch of our friends who came out to support us and it was simply wonderful!

The game was a lot of fun--we were playing against what I believe is the best team in the league, and we even led at a few points. We played as a team, and I heard one guy say that if we had just a little more time, he thought we might have pulled out the victory.

Honestly, the way we played together, we did pull out a victory. And being able to walk over to a crowd of 30-40 close friends who were cheering us on gave us an even greater victory. We were able to pray together, and thank God for keeping us injury free, and beyond this we were even able to thank God for the community and the conversations that were happening all through the game among our friends.

I never would have anticipated this would be sooo much fun! We even have a mascot now, a Newfoundland (water rescue dog) named Baxter!

Even though we lost, I think the tides are changing for the better for the Waterboyz and our community of friends and supporters!

Go waterboyz!!!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Energy Savings and One Billion Bulbs

Over the last few weeks I've been thinking a lot about stewardship and the environment. In particular I've been thinking about the added onus that Christians have as a mandate from God to be good stewards with the resources with which we have been entrusted. And I've been thinking about/reading about ways we can begin to curb our energy consumption and things like that.

Like any mad-scientist--I have begun by experimenting on myself. I've been exploring recycling, and household energy consumption stuff, and it has been really cool. I've taken some flak here and there who already assume I must be really granola because of being Indian and having long hair.

Been thinking about cultural stuff lately too. The old timers used to say that we make our decisions by thinking about how they will affect the next seven generations. Most of the time today people make decisions without considering how they will affect the next seven days.

I'm exploring gardening a bit this year too. I think my generation is the first generation of my family that hasn't kept a garden. All of my uncles keep gardens, and my dad has always planted crops. It's time I learn some of these "old ways". So I hope to explore some of that in a future blog as well. I kind of feel like we've lost a lot of our connection to the earth over the last several years--I know I have.

A few month's ago, Willie sent me a link to this website called one billion I created a group on the site that I called Friends of Chanchanchepon that i would love for you to join.

Over the last few months I have been changing out my incandescent bulbs for low wattage compact fluorescent bulbs. I have changed out several bulbs, and many of my friends have done the same. The website allows us to track the impact our exchange of bulbs is making.

But I've gotta tell ya--I think I underestimated the number of hours my other bulbs were being used. I've cut my electric bill nearly in half by using these compact fluorescent bulbs. I really recommend the change-over.

Anyway, check out the one billion bulbs site, and make the switch to compact fluorescent bulbs. Unless you have an even better alternative like solar power. I think we can reach our state's goals pretty quickly if everyone will just switch out a few bulbs. Join my "Friends of Chanchanchepon" group, and record your change-over. That way we can track the energy we've helped to conserve. The Compact Fluorescent bulbs are much more expensive, but they last a TON longer too. Plus you will make the money back pretty quick in energy savings. Picture this. If you switch out 1 60 watt bulb for 1 11 watt bulb, the amount of electricity saved in that process is over 80%.

Get out there and care for the planet--starting with your household!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A Protected Beauty

A Protected Beauty, originally uploaded by realkuhl.
Unfortunately this week has not afforded me the time to write and reflect that I was hoping it would. It has been a very productive week though, and I have a feeling I am going to be putting up a series of blogs dealing with some current problems we are facing in our world, and what we can do about them.

For now though, I want to encourage you to slow down. My best friend on the planet, Willie, sent me this article from a desiring God blogsite. The thing that strikes me is that the article hits on something similar to this picture. Isn't this photo exquisite?

In order to photograph this, the photographer had to recognize the beauty of the moment, and after he recognized it, he photographed it.

Now his photo took him about a half mile away from a parking lot--that's not far, but it took some effort.

Personally, I think we miss beauty like this every day because we are going about with blinders on and busily scrambling from task to task. The link in this post talks about a world renknown violin player who set up in downtown DC and performed as a few people chucked quarters in his violin case.

It's amazing how much we miss out on the beauty that's all around us when we are busy. Take some time to look at the world around you and soak in those moments and images that are just a little ways off the well worn path of a busy and hectic paced life. It will renew your spirit.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Morgantown at Dusk

Morgantown at Night, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
Well it's been a whle since I've posted a picture of the lovely sunset view from my house, so I figured I would throw one up here. I am looking forward to sitting out on the deck in future weeks with friends and roommates and enjoying the wonderful springtime morgantown weather. Unfortunately, lately the weather has been less than spectacular. I thought spring was here, but unstead it has been freezing for the last week or so, and beyond that, there hasn't been any snow to play in. (I mean, if I could go snowboarding, I could maybe deal with the cold).

But in spite of the recent bout with bad weather--that has also helped me gain some kind of sinus flare up too--Morgantown is still a great place to live.

In fact, I just found out we were named one of twelve "distinctive places to live." I'm not sure what that means exactly, but I guess it's kind of cool. If you want to know more about this recent award, you can read more here.

Tomorrow, I leave Morgantown and will be celebrating the marriage of my long-time friend Dave Nancarrow, and his wife LaVila. I'm looking forward to the small celebration, and I'm also kind of excited about enjoying a little sunny Florida. They're getting married in Fort Myers, and from what I've been reading, the weather is phenomenal there right now!!!!

Even though it is the gulf coast, and I won't be able to surf, I still think it will be cool to take a little dip in the tranquil waters while I'm there too.