Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Latest update on Glenn's health

Here is the latest update sent out by my wife:

Another month has passed and another visit to the doctor has come and gone.  We saw the doctor yesterday and Glenn's blood work was still good - the platelets were more normal and the white count o.k.  It would appear from his blood that the CLL (his cancer) is not very active right now. That was a relief for us as Glenn has been battling a cold for at least 3 weeks now and hasn't been feeling very good.  Over the past week, though, he has been starting to feel better.  Probably the biggest symptom he struggles with right now is tiredness.  Since things are going fairly well right now and Christmas is always crazy busy at the clinics, the doctor felt we could wait until mid-January to see him again....almost a two month break!!!! 

As Glenn's condition has stabilized some, we have been wondering again if it might be possible to transfer back to Credit Valley.  Yesterday we asked the doctor if we could revisit that option, and if he wouldn't mind contacting Credit Valley for us again.  Being closer to home would be so much easier, especially when Glenn has to be hospitalized.  The doctor completely agreed with us, but suggested we wait until the busy Christmas season is over.  Please pray that Credit Valley will reconsider taking Glenn and in the new year we will be able to make that switch.

Thank you for all the's been quite a ride.  As it's not likely I will send out another update this year (Lord willing), I trust you will know the Peace and Joy of the Lord at this Christmas season.  May your family times be special and may God's grace be poured out on you as you celebrate the birth of His Son.  God Bless you!!



Sunday, November 23, 2008

Frustrated by Man United

Watched the game yesterday between Aston Villa and Manchester United and was frustrated by the inability of United to put the ball in the goal.  The sloppy passing in the offensive end made the second half made a concentrated attack almost impossible.

United is having a tougher year, for sure, than in the past couple. Part of the problem seems to be their inability to put their entire talent on the field at the same time.  Between Berbatov, Ronaldo or Rooney, someone always seems to be off nursing an injury. I am concerned that they do not seems destined to repeat last year's success in either the Champion's League or the Premiership.

Update on Glenn's father

Well, Dad was finally admitted into the hospital a few days ago after spending the best part of a couple days in emergency. He isn't enjoying himself much apparently, but they did determine that the problems he was having was due to medication he was taking.  We were relieved that it wasn't any more serious than that.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New laptop policy at the mission

I have actually been at some meetings where it might have been a good idea to have this policy in place. Everyone was so busy answering their emails that no one was actually paying action to what was being said.

Update on Dad Penner

Last night, Twyla, my sister-in-law, sent me this email updating us on the condition of my father:

Hi, Glenn,

I'm not sure what your sleep schedule is, so thought I'd send an email knowing that you check it often. I just heard from Mom; she's been in to see Dad this evening. He's still in emerg because they don't have a bed on the neuro floor. At this point, he's having difficulty speaking, writing and putting his thoughts together. Jim and I are hoping that she's able to talk to his doctor so she can get the full story. She did find out that he's going in for a test (an EEG she thinks...) tomorrow. If we have more updates we'll let you know right away.


Please remember Mom and Dad Penner in your prayers today.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Glenn's father hospitalized

Please pray for my father who was taken into emergency yesterday and at last report is still waiting for admittance into the Foothills Hospital in Calgary.  Some of the symptoms that Dad is exhibiting appear like he has had a minor stroke, but we are still waiting for find out for sure what is wrong.  I know that my family would appreciate your prayers at this time.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My name is Glenn and I am a librophiliac

I have a confession to make.  I love books.  I mean, I really love them.  One glance at my office can tell you that, as three of the four walls have bookshelves on them.  And not just any books, mind you.  Good ones (at least I think so).  I have culled my herd at least three times in the past decade and I am still running out of bookshelf space. I have books everywhere; on the stand beside my bed, you will find Shirer's Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.  As I stumble to the washroom each morning, I grab it and read a page on two.  The same goes on every night before I go to sleep.  I simply cannot go to sleep if I don't read first.  I do wonder what people would think of me, however, if they were to learn that lately I have started and ended each day reading about Adolf Hitler. But such is the life of the librophiliac. I cannot always control what grabs my interest at a particular time. Downstairs on the couch, you will find the equally massive tome, Christopher JH Wright's The Mission of God. I haven't read much of it in the past couple of weeks though. It's a good book, but my mood hasn't been right for such reading. Besides, that is one of my downfalls; I like to start books - I don't always finish them.  I feel guilty about that, but I probably shouldn't.  Why waste time on something that can't keep my attention?  But I am one of those guys who likes to finish what they start and so my life (and desk) is stacked up with half read books.  On my desk at work, I have 2-3 others stacked up beckoning out to me.  I hear their cries but resist.  How many can I read at a time?

Calvin Miller, in his 1985 article “Confessions of a Librophiliac” in Christianity Today (January 18, 1985, page 32) said, quite correctly, "Readers, on the other hand, have at least 7.5 books going all the time. Actually, the number of books a reader takes on is usually directly related to the number of bathrooms he has in his home and office. I am working on a survey that will show that, over a lifetime, readers are in bathrooms seven years and three months longer than nonreaders."

Is the term "honour killing" racist?

A fascinating article in the National Post today addresses the question as to whether the term "honour killing" is racist and Islamophobic. The article begins:

It is the grizzled face on a Wanted poster that usually catches the eye, but as the FBI realized late last month, the words matter, too.

In its initial poster seeking fugitive Texas cab driver Yasser Abdel Said – sought for the double homicide of his teenaged daughters – the bureau said he disapproved of their dating non-Muslim boys and stated that they were murdered "due to an ‘Honour Killing.'"

Though family members speculated that the father's Islamic belief motivated the crime, the use of the phrase "honour killing" incensed the local Muslim-American community, who argued that the accused's religion should not be linked to the double homicide, which left his two daughters dead in the back of his taxi.

After a public outcry, the FBI struck the offending words three weeks ago.

A Bureau spokesman explained that unlike a hate crime, there is no legal definition of an honour killing. "It's not our job to label this case anything other than what it is, what is from a criminal perspective," he said, apologizing that the writer did not see "the misunderstanding" the wording would create.

The girls' great aunt, however, was not satisfied." Everyone knows this is an honour killing," she told "But even our law enforcement and the FBI succumb to the pressure?"

Whether these kinds of crimes take place in Texas, Europe or even in Mississauga, Ontario – where the father and brother of teenager Aqsa Parvez will soon appear in court charged with killing her last December – the term itself is already on trial, a topic that speaks to the extreme hair-trigger sensitivities of multicultural balance.

(Read the rest of the article by clicking here.)

The issue in debate is whether these killings are solely examples of domestic abuse in which religion had no role, or whether they were influenced or even motivated by the killer's religious beliefs. It seems to me, however, that how one answers that question is influenced very little by the actual facts. It is clear that these are cases where religion played a major role in justifying abusive behaviour that resulted in these girl's death. To say otherwise is to close one's eyes and pretend that something doesn't exist because you don't want it to exist.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Silence speaks

The other day one of my coworkers asked me how I really was doing.  The fact that I had been rather silent in my blogs lately was an indication that all was not well.  An astute observation.  As I am getting older and the longer that I have been on this journey with cancer, the less I share when things aren't going well.  The last week has been a bit of a struggle.  While this cold has been hanging on longer than I expected, it never became really serious.  Still, I feel "off." I am shorter of breath than usual, find myself extremely worn out at the end of each day, and feeling nauseous in the mornings.  And I am not even taking any chemo at the present time!

I spoke twice yesterday morning at my home church here in Mississauga for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.  The second message went better than the first, largely because during the second one, I finally swallowed my pride and sat on a stool while I was preaching.  It was great being in the pulpit again though.  But it is very tiring. I just don't have much stamina.

Add to that the disappointment of having recently been let down by someone I trusted for a long time.  His actions have impacted me more than I want to admit and given one of my most valued projects a body blow that I am not sure is recoverable.  This is the third time this kind of thing has happened in the last four months, where someone I trusted acted in a way that violated this trust.  Trust is important to me, as anyone who knows me well can attest.

I don't know how all of this will work out.  I am committed, however, to continue, by God's grace, to walk with integrity and faith even if short of breath and heavy of heart.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I caught a virus! (no, not that kind)

virus_cartoonWell, it's official. I have another cold!  A week ago, I knew that I was coming down with something (it's funny how you get to know your body when your health becomes one of your main priorities, like mine has for the past 6 years).  Feeling sapped throughout the week, as my body tried to fight it off, I cancelled a trip I was to go on, knowing that the extra stress would likely make it worse.  But this morning, as I was ready to head out the door for church, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt.  Coughing, runny nose, sinus pain and chest congestion. Oh the joy of it all!  Lucky for you, I can't pass this virus on through the Internet.