Saturday, October 29, 2005

Help Me Produce Good Fruit

Since the weather is cool and it's my day off, I decided to start on an outdoor project.  The shrubs around my house are now taller than my house, so I thought it might be a good time to trim them.  In the very front of our house are some shrubs that are little more than something for vines to grow on.  My original plan was to trim the shrubs, but once I started pruning, I found out that 4/5 of the shrubs were dead.  By the time I pruned, there was not much left worth saving.  I decided it would look better to clear out the whole thing.

All of this work made me think of what Jesus said about pruning in John 15:1-5 (New Living Translation)

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch that doesn't produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned for greater fruitfulness by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful apart from me."Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.

We all know that it is not fun when God cuts things off in our lives...even if it is things that are not healthy.  But as I looked at my shrubs today, I thought, "Wow, if you just leave a plant and don't prune it or trim it when it needs it, so many branches become unhealthy the whole plant dies."  It made me think about my own life:

Lord, help me remain in You.  I want to bear fruit for You, and when I don't, being pruned and trimmed is no fun, but I thank You for doing it anyway.  I never want to get to the point in my life where I have not only resisted your will and quit bearing fruit, but also resisted your pruning to the point there is nothing left to work with.  Remind me to remain in You and help me produce good fruit.

- Rob

Good Times With Good Friends

Today was a not-so-great day and then it was a busy day (on my day off) on top of that.  A friend had invited me over for a "guys night out" playing Texas Hold-em (no money, just free chips), but I almost didn't go because of the bad day.  When Amanda found out a couple of her friends were going to be there with their Dads she wanted to go.  Because I am also working on valuing my friendships more, we decided to go.  I'm glad we went.  Amanda had fun and it did help me to be around friends tonight and not home alone (Amanda is here, Brooke is at our church ladies' retreat).  I had a great time and I actually won my first game of Texas Hold-em!  I finally figured out what that one line from Kenny Roger's "The Gambler" song meant..."you gotta know when to hold `em, know when to FOLD `em..."  Folding when you don't have a decent chance for a good hand helps you stick around quite a bit longer!  So as I come home at 1:30am tonight, I am thankful for good times with good friends.

- Rob

Monday, October 24, 2005

Discussion with the Humanists, Part II

Yea!  I got a response to my post at the Humanist News blog yesterday.  This post will not make sense if you do not read my post "Discussion with the Humanists" first.

In response to what I wrote yesterday, Fred Edwords respectfully commented:

Thank you, Hurts, for providing the opposing bookend. It lets us know that we aren't critiquing a straw man.

I'll just pick one thought out of the bushel.

You seem to agree with the idea of your "natural desires being unquestionably sinful." Isn't it interesting, then, that those evangelicals who call homosexuality sinful often argue that the proof of its sinful nature is that it is (somehow) "UN-natural." Does this mean that ALL desires, both "natural" and "unnatural," are sinful? And, if so, why then would the supposed unnaturalness of a given desire offer any special proof of its sinfulness worthy of mention?

As for our natural desires being sinful, why would we need forgiveness for exercising them? Shouldn't God be asking our forgiveness for saddling us with such supposedly evil urges?

Oh, I know, all that sin is supposed to have started in the Garden of Eden. But that legacy could no more be my fault than would a crime committed by a parent or ancestor. I'm an individual who is innocent until proven guilty, not guilty because of something in my family history. Thus I don't need to secure forgiveness for anything Adam or an ape might have done thousands or millions of years ago.

Here was my response:
Hurts said...

Fred brings up two points that have already been asked and answered by the Christian faith. I will refrain from preaching, but I ask that you allow me to quote two Scripture passages that directly answer the questions.

First of all, as to the "natural" and "un-natural" argument. A basic Greek word study clears up this misconception (we look to the Greek because the passage was originally written in Greek and we can get away from translation arguments). The verse that is often quoted, and to which Fred indirectly referred, is Romans 1:26-27. An English translations reads this way:

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

The Greek word for "natural" as in "natural relations" is "phusikos" and it means "produced by nature, agreeable to nature or governed by the instincts of nature". The word for "unnatural" is "phusis" and it means "abnormal, not of nature." Of course, the writer understood nature to be "God's nature", but he was arguing even from a natural, physical standpoint, homosexuality was perverse or against nature...against the way are bodies were created.

And then the next question, "why should we ask forgiveness for "natural" desires and shouldn't God ask our forgiveness for "saddling" us with these?" It goes back to free choice. God did not saddle us with a sinful nature. We were created in his perfect image, but we were given a free will and chose to go against God's way.

Which brings us to the last issue Fred brought up about not being guilty of something from our family's history. I need to quote one more Scripture to address the questions, "why ask forgiveness for a sin nature given to me by somebody else? should God ask our forgiveness? and "why and I held accountable for somebody else's guilt?" Again, God clearly answered these questions:

Romans 5:18-19
Yes, Adam's one sin brought condemnation upon everyone, but Christ's one act of righteousness makes all people right in God's sight and gives them life. Because one person disobeyed God, many people became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many people will be made right in God's sight.

You can read more in context if you so addresses Fred's questions directly but I am trying to respect the forum to which I am commenting so I will use only these two verses.

Why ask forgiveness when I am doing what comes "natural"? Because God says that when the one man (Adam) turned his back on God, he blew it for all of creation. This may not seem "fair" to our American way of thinking (thus Fred's reference to 'innocent until proven guilty'), but does that really matter? I know you are not going to agree with me that God created the world, that He created mankind in His image without sin...fine. But your argument states, "If God created us with a sinful nature, He should ask our forgiveness for saddling us with this." You can't have it both ways. If God created the world and mankind, then He has the right to set the rules. How dare we demand his forgiveness for a free-will choice we (i.e. mankind) made in His world? If you are going to reject the idea of God totally, that is least you are being consistent. But don't' take half the story (God created man) and then stop just for the sake of your argument. If you are going to allow for God creating man (in your argument), then you have to allow for His creating man in His image without a sinful nature. God owes us nothing. He gave us (i.e. humankind) perfection and we chose something else. And if that is not enough, God gave mankind, more specifically each and every individual, a second chance in Christ. God, being a perfect moral being, cannot stand a sin nature in His presence, but He did create humankind, and He created humankind to have a relationship with Him. Thus, when we blew it and could never "fix it" because of the sinful nature we all inherited from Adam (and the individual sinful choices we make), God sent his Son to be the atonement for our sinfulness. All he asked in return is what He asked from the it His way. Accept Christ's sacrifice and live a life recognizing God as Creator who has a right to make demands of us, his creation. This is almost over-simplifying the message of the New Testament, but again, I am trying to respect the forum to which I am commenting.

So the good news is, we don't have to answer for the legacy of what one man did thousands of years ago, but we have to make the same choice he did: do it my way or do it God's way.

And I guess the other bit of good news is God never said anything about having to answer for something an ape did thousands of years ago!

- Rob

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Discussion with the Humanists

Sorry this post will be a bit lengthy.  I just wanted to quote a blog posting from the Humanist News blog and my comment to it.  I've commented there a few times before and have had some good interaction and some plain mean-spiritedness.  We'll see which this exchange brings about.

Screed #1

I am not special. The universe does not care about me. There is no big man in the sky in whose image I was made and who is watching over me or answering my hopes or telling me how I should behave. I am made from the same decaying matter as everything else. My ancestors, only a few thousand generations ago, were a bunch of flea bitten apes. I have no eternal soul, and eventually my brain will be worm food and my consciousness will be obliterated, with no hope of an afterlife.

And I deny these facts or become emotional about them because......??? I mean, imagine how much of a narcissistic, insecure, needy wimp I would be if my sense of self-worth, the entire significance of my life, and any hope for the future depended on a belief that I was created by a deity and that said deity cares about me. Imagine how bad I would feel about myself if I believed that my natural desires as a person were unquestionably sinful, and that I ought to frequently bow my head in supplication to a higher power. Imagine if, in vain-glorious hopes of an afterlife, I was unable to focus on soaking up all that my current life has to offer.

Personally, I cannot see how religious delusions do anything positive for those who believe them, and as I'm sure you can tell, my suspicion is that most such beliefs ultimately play off of and encourage insecurities and self-doubt. This is hardly the kind of thing that would lead me to flourishing or "the good life."

At least for me, I think Bertrand Russell said it best: "I am as firmly convinced that religions do harm as I am that they are untrue."
posted by Ramsay Hoguet


Hurts said...

Hi. I'm Rob and I am special. I don't know if the universe cares about me, but I know the Creator of the universe does. Yes, I am made in His image and I do listen to how He tells me I should behave. My ancestors, only a few thousand years ago may have had fleas (we get them when our dogs bring them in), but they definitely weren't apes.

Hmmm...I would be much more narcissistic, insecure and questioning my sense of self-worth and entire significance if I thought I was some kind of "cosmic accident" whose ancestors were apes who came from a purposeless big bang.

I guess if I was left to myself, which we all are if we don't believe in God, I would feel pretty bad about my natural desires being unquestionably sinful. Watching the world news would tend to reinforce this belief. But because I have a relationship with my Creator, as all can, I can rest in the assurance that my sinful nature is forgiven.

As to not being able to focus on soaking up all that my current life has to offer...why would I miss that just because I look forward to an afterlife with my Creator. Jesus said "I came to give you life in all it's fullness". I guess that's just "Bible thumping" to you, but I can't think of a better person to ask what life is about than the Creator of life. Persoanlly, I can't see anything more hopeless than a universe in which I am the best thing there is to offer. In a universe without God, all I have is me. Don't get me wrong. I think I'm a great guy and people who hang out with me would tell you I almost always think I'm right. But if the only "answers" in life are the ones I know or can, now THAT is depressing. Maybe you think you have all the answers in life...that's kinda scary, too.

Personally, I cannot see how religioius delusions do anything positive for people, either. However, neither do I see how Humanist delusions do anybody any good. Delusions generally are not good. I suppose you are not-so-kindly calling Christianity a "religious delusion", but I think that is one heck of a judgement call. You can't really prove God does not exist. If you want to put the burdne on me to "prove" God does exist, I gotta be honest and tell you it has to start with FAITH. But calling everything you do not understand or agree with a "delusion" does not seem very logical, reasonable or scientific to me.

I guess you or others who reply to this post may call me "delusional", but this would not be the place to post if I were insecure or my faith caused self-doubt.

Lastly, I don't know if he said it best, but I too agree with Bertrand Russell when he says, "I am as firmly convinced that religions do harm as I am that they are untrue." Must be why God offers RELATIONSHIP instead of religion.

Rob Hurt

One to Remember

A couple months ago we put a CD/MP3 player in Amanda's room and she loves to play music when she goes to bed.  I put a number of our peaceful CDs onto one MP3 CD, so the disc in her player has 20 something complete CDs worth of music on it.  On Thursday night, I turned on the music as we were talking and praying before she went to sleep.  The sound track from Man From Snowy River was playing and I started telling Amanda about the movie.  She said she wanted to watch it, so that's what we did last night.

Brooke went out with some of her girlfriends last night, so Amanda and I had a Daddy/daughter evening.  When we dropped off Brooke, we had to pick up a few necessities for supper...tater tots and ice cream!  We came home and Amanda played outside while Daddy cooked.  We had our favorite meal...hamburgers and tater tots.  When supper was ready, Amanda came in and we moved into the living room to watch Man From Snowy River.  We finished dinner and then got to the good stuff...the ice cream.  After that, we sat on the couch just the two of us.  It was just the two of us for a while that is.  I had my arm around Amanda who was leaning up against me, and this was just too much for the doggies.  Boo hopped up in my lap and of course Sully could not sit on the floor by himself, so he hopped up in Amanda's lap.  There we sat Rob, Amanda, Boo and Sully watching the movie.  When the movie was over, the doggies played, Amanda got a bath and I cleaned up dinner dishes.  Amanda and I are reading a book I remember reading in Jr. High, Frosty A Raccoon to Remember at bedtime, so we read and she went to sleep.  We didn't do anything really out of the ordinary, but I think our evening will be one to remember.

- Rob

Friday, October 21, 2005

Friend From the Past

Amanda is in a "story stage" right now and has been for the past several months.  Almost anytime there is silence, she asks, "Daddy, tell me a story."  The story cannot be one I read, found on the Internet or heard somebody else has to be a story from when I was a kid.  Animal stories and stories from times I got in trouble are the most popular right now.

Last night, as I was putting Amanda into bed laying there praying with her and talking to her before she went to sleep, she asked for another story.  I'm kinda out of animal stories (since it seems I have told a million of them), but since Amanda had been riding her bike last evening, she asked for a bike riding story. I already told "The Great Wipeout" story (my first big "encounter" with a mailbox when I was first learning to ride my bike), so I told a story about riding down a HUGE hill with my friend Matt when we were in Jr. High.  We were at a park called Star's Cave and Matt knew of a huge hill in the woods.  We rode/pushed our bikes to the spot, walked our bikes up the hill and rode down the path like madmen.  If I remember correctly, Matt had hand brakes on his bike (or maybe it was his brother's bike that I was riding), but somebody's brakes went out right near the bottom.  Fortunately whoever it was got close enough to the bottom of the hill before the brake failure so nobody met a tree up close and personal.

I don't think I've seen Matt since 1990-91.  I graduated high school in 1987 and Matt graduated in 1988.  We spent a good deal of time together in Jr. High and High School and were good friends.  It has been a few years since we've corresponded...I think exchanging Christmas newsletters on and off through the years and maybe a note or e-mail here and there.  You will never guess who I got a letter from when Brooke checked the mail today.  OK, since you are reading this, you've probably figured out it was from Matt.  I just thought it was pretty cool timing...I'll have to sit down and send him an e-mail tonight.  It's good to hear from a friend from the past.

- Rob

Saturday, October 15, 2005

What Do You Call a Fish With No Eyes?

A fsh!

Good Way to End a Busy Day

Our morning started at 8:00am so we could be at the church, ready to hand out door hangers at 9:00am.  After that, I cooked us some bacon for breakfast then I was out to be Handy Man today.  The first project I tackled was the mailbox.  It gets hit by car mirrors so often that the mail lady can literally take the mail box off it's stand when she opens the door to put the mail in it.  I thought in 30 minutes time I could repaint the stand and reattach the box.  It took more like an hour and 30 minutes!  I spent the next three and a half hours doing my annual garage cleaning.  After a quick shower, we all sat in the living room and cooked hamburgers over the electric grill and watched Meet the Parents.  Good way to end a busy day.

- Rob

Friday, October 14, 2005

Yea...We're Back Up and Running

This past week has been a week of ups and downs, but thank the Lord, it has ended "up". Here's the short version: Seven years ago we moved into a house the church got with some land we purchased. The church was kind enough to let us move into the new parsonage which was a HUGE improvement from the apartments we had been living in. The house is 40 years old and has some "oddities" about it, but we call it home and we love it. One of the things about the house is the fact that it is build on a pier-and-beam foundation. From time to time, this has led to interesting "aromas" in our house. Last year, we were concerned it might be natural gas, so we called a plumber out to look at it. He said it was not natural gas, but that it was our sewer vent pipes that weren't covered. He did some "stuff" to them and fixed most of the problem smells that were coming into the house. About a month ago, people coming to our Life Group told us they smelled natural gas when they came into the house (biggest smell was outside). We wrote it off as the "smells of the house" until they kept saying it week after week. A week ago Wednesday I called the gas company to come check it out. That's when the roller coaster ride began:
  • Oops, you have a BAD gas leak. We are going to turn off all gas to your house.
  • Yea, you haven't blown yourselves up, which was entirely possible with a gas leak this bad.
  • Oops, it's gonna be expensive to get this fixed.
  • Yea, we live in a parsonage so the church will probably help with this expense.
  • Oops, the gas company said "expensive" to fix the problem. The plumbers said "very expensive" to lay all new gas lines inside and outside the house.
  • Yea, we found a bid that was a little less expensive than the first one and the church approved having the work done.
  • Oops, we will start and finish the work on Friday but the city will not come inspect it until Monday.
  • Yea, we live in Texas and it's not cold outside at this time in October.
  • Oops, the house is old. Hope the inspector doesn't find anything else he thinks is unsafe in the house.
  • Yea, we passed inspection with flying colors and the inspector was real nice.
  • Oops, the inspector forgot to call the gas company and tell them they could turn the gas back on.
  • Yea, Rob called before the city office closed for the day.
  • Oops, the guy Rob talked to on the phone was NOT very nice, helpful or interested in getting our gas turned back on that day.
  • Yea, we were able to get the city to call the gas company on Monday after the not-very-friendly guy did finally help us out.
  • Oops, gas company did not come out until 8:30pm.
  • Yea, the gas company works after 5pm so we could at least have hot showers for the night.
  • Oops, the gas furnace pilot light will not light.
  • Yea, the plumbers gave us a warranty on their work and came to check it out.
  • Oops, nothing wrong with the new plumbing...and YIKES! look at the prices for new parts for this older furnace. "Dear God, no more expense, please!"
  • Yea, thank you Lord. Furnace man discovered the furnace was self lighting. The gas valve was not original to our unit. Although it said "Hold down here to light pilot" that wasn't for our unit which has a self-ignition system.
  • Oops, we had to pay somebody to tell us this.
  • Yea, all we paid for was a service call and not $700-$800 more work! We're back up and running!! (Thank you Lord and thank you church).
- Rob

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I'm Just Glad To Have My Game Back

I went to the Maverick Club this morning not real excited about my racquetball game.  I've played just twice in the last month since I hurt my back playing volleyball, and both times I played HORRIBLY!  When Chuck asked me if I wanted to play today (see previous posts if you do not know about my games with Chuck), I knew I was in for a butt-whoopin'.  Much to my surprise, my game seemed to come back today.  I scored eleven points the first game.  The fact that I scored less than this the second and third game does not need much mention...I'm just glad to have my game back.

- Rob

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

How Do Daddy Rabbits Pray?

Yesterday, Columbus Day, Amanda was out of school and the weather was nice, so Amanda, Boo, Sully and I went for a walk in the woods at a local park. As we were walking and talking, Amanda said, "Look! It looks sorta like a guinea pig." Upon closer examination, we discovered Amanda had found a baby rabbit. He was sitting by a tree and not moving, hoping we would not notice him. We watched him for a few minutes and then moved on in hopes that he could find the rest of his family. The remainder of our walk was enjoyable until toward the end, Amanda asked me, "Did you have baby bunnies like that when you were little, Daddy?" I told her no, we only had one rabbit. She said, "So you had a boy rabbit?" I told her yes, we had a boy rabbit. For some silly reason I continued, "You have to have a boy and a girl rabbit to have baby bunnies." This confused Amanda who explained that all you needed was a mommy rabbit to have bunnies. Realizing I was possibly heading for deep water I was not sure a six year old was ready for, I tried to stay shallow by saying again, "You have to have both a boy and girl rabbit to have baby bunnies." I realized I may have just stepped off the pier when Amanda asked, "Why do you to have a boy and a girl rabbit, Daddy?" I was about to panic when she continued, "Does the daddy rabbit pray for the mommy rabbit to get pregnant like you did for mommy?" Thinking I might be heading back toward the safety of the shoreline, I said, "Yes, something like that." Just when I was starting to feel the sand beneath my feet, Amanda had one more question: "How to daddy rabbits pray?"

- Rob

Monday, October 03, 2005

Brooke is Good!

No, I don't just mean eating the candy glued to her shirt was good...I mean Brooke is good. She is the children's director at our church, and she is good at what she does. We are collecting candy for our Fall Festival at the end of this month and this was Brooke's advertisement. Pretty clever (pretty and clever) girl, huh? But then, I might be a little biased.

- Rob

Yea Amanda!

Amanda Kay went to the dentist today for what we hope will be the last visit for major dental work for a while. It was time to fill her last cavity. If you have been following our blog, you know our last few trips to the dentist have been very big deals (again, Amanda has a flair for the dramatic). Last time, I had to go back with her. This time, we talked about what a big girl she was last time and how she got a filling all by herself before. The short version is...Amanda make it all by herself today and we are very proud of her. Yea Amanda!

- Rob

Amanda the Cheetah - After Going to Corey Elementary's 20th Anniversary Celebration

Exhausted From a Great Weekend

This weekend, our church had our annual Men's Retreat. We left for Riverbend Retreat Center around 3pm on Friday. Got there around 5pm, got unpacked and people registered then headed for dinner around 7:00pm. One of the great things about this camp is the food...good stuff! We had salad, steamed vegetables, au Groton potatoes, rolls, ham and a brownie for dessert. After that, we headed back to the lodge for worship, a word from our speaker and then into small group discussion time. Our speaker, Buster Russell spoke on how to develop a passion for God as men....very good stuff. After our evening session, some of us headed to the gym for an hour-and-a-half game of dodgeball. I pulled a muscle in my back a few weeks back playing volleyball and dodgeball did not make it feel any better, but it was worth it. Back at the cabin, some of the guys played Texas Hold 'Em and then most of us went to bed a little after 1am.

On Saturday morning, we were treated to a breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, biscuits and gravy. Back at the cabin, we had worship, heard from our speaker again and then had our discussion group again. Most of the guys in my discussion group were from my Life Group and the other guy is an active part of our Young Marrieds group, so we all got along well. It was good to hear from other guys what God was talking to them about over the weekend and to get to share what God was saying to me.

Lunch consisted of chicken fried chicken, mashed potatoes, veggies and a chocolate eclair. After the meal, some of us headed out to an open field at the front of the camp and did some skeet shooting. It was a lot of fun. I shot what I think was my first tripple...two clays from one thrower and one from a hand thrower. It was fun shooting both with guys who like to shoot and guys were doing it for the first time. We had a great time.

After that, many of us planned to play football, but many of us also discovered we were too sore after dodgeball the night before. I went and took some pictures of the football game and went back for an afternoon nap. At 5:00pm, everybody said, "Is it time to eat again already? I'm not even hungry." We sure at a lot for a bunch of guys who were not hungry! Dinner consisted of criss cut fries, a chicken sandwich and some sort of fruit dessert thingy.

When we got back to the cabin, it was time to pack up before our last service together. I decided to grab a quick shower since I had not taken one after being outside all afternoon (I did not want to come home to my wife with a funky "guys weekend" smell!). I turned on the water and noticed it was not as hot as it was in the morning, but I jumped in anyway thinking the water would warm up. Boy was I wrong! The water went from cold to colder!! It was a very quick shower.

So we had our evening worship time, Pastor Buster finished sharing with us, guys shared what God had spoken to them over the weekend and then we headed home around 8:30pm. I came home, kissed my wife, loved on the hyper dogs and went into Amanda's room and kissed her goodnight. About 10 minutes later I flopped into bed exhausted from a great weekend.

- Rob

Pretty Much a Done Deal

Thursday night, Brooke and I were watching TV in the living room and Amanda was playing in my office. Suddenly, we heard a loud cry/moan and Amanda came into the living room. My first thought was that she was pestering the dogs again and one of them had snapped at her. I was relieved to see that she had no blood, and then she told us what happened. She was playing with Sully and had jumped off of the couch onto the blanket next to him. She tried to catch herself and hurt her elbow somehow. She said it made a loud "pop". Since Amanda often has a flair for the dramatic, I said what any Daddy would say, "It's going to be OK. Let's go to bed and it will be all better in the morning."

Well, Friday morning began at 6:30pm when we heard, "Daddy! Daddy!" I grogilly wandered into Amanda's room in time to hear her cry, "My elbow hurts and I can't move my arm". We got her up and looked at the swollen elbow. Great! We didn't know if it was broken, sprained or what. We went with the "medical" reasoning, "If it was broken, it would have hurt so bad she couldn't sleep last night." At least it made us feel better.

We gave her some Tylenol, but it became apparent that she was going to need a sling at the very least. Brooke went sling shopping while I tried to find something at the house to show Amanda what we were going to do and how she would be able to go to school. Of course, neither Walgreens nor Wal-Mart had a sling for children, so we made do with an adult sling and some safety pins. With the sling and Tylenol kicking in, Amanda was sure she could go to school. Thank the Lord pictures were the day before!

I left for our church's Men's Retreat before Amanda got home from school that day, so I was a little worried about her. When Amanda got home, Brooke took the sling off to see how Amanda would do. She did not like having to straighten her arm, but she said it was feeling better than it was that morning. Well, the sling never went back on and Amanda is doing much better. She's not ready for the monkey bars yet, but it's pretty much a done deal as far as she is concerned.

- Rob