Reason for My Absence

I know I haven’t posted here in a long time, minus the random I Am Not Ashamed review. Had a friend message me on Facebook if I was done with Fig Tree because she loves reading my posts. Truth is, I really wanted to post here, and had enough ideas come to mind that I could have easily doubled my current post count. But I was evicted from my apartment and went a few months without internet except on my phone. As I once said in a previous post that I’m not going to link to because I don’t remember which one it was and I’m too lazy to look for it, I don’t like the WordPress app or mobile site. The exception was that movie review, because it upset me so much I was willing to deal my issues with the app to type out an admittedly longer than initially planned post.

Well, I’m posting now, so that must mean I have internet! And the answer is…YES….. I have actually had internet for a few months now. It’s just that my only two year old computer has been acting up so much that it’s not even worth turning on, so it just sat there next to my Xbox One, collecting dust. Yes, I’ve been spending my time playing Xbox games and watching Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube. Not exactly productive, but now I am finally willing to deal with the madness that is this computer because I bought a new keyboard and mouse for some reason, and I really want to use them.

Not going to promise to post as frequently as before (Oohh, noo!! No more one post a month??), but I will try to post as much as I can. I didn’t forget about this site. I’ve still been telling people about it, sharing it with coworkers who expressed either that they are a believer or want to be, and even renewed the domain last month.

As for my health, incase anyone remembers, I was diagnosed with cancer in November 2015. While I still do chemo every three weeks (most recently today…yeah, yeah, I’ll go to sleep after I post this). I haven’t gotten better, but I also haven’t gotten worse. I’ve plateau’d. But my doctor said that I’m reacting so well to the treatment that he wants to, sometime by the end of the year, cut me back to once every four weeks instead of three. So that’s good news!

But I also have teeth issues. I thought I had two broken teeth and a cavity, and it was causing me great agony, to the point where I even started screaming in pain at work last Sunday night while laying on the ground and covering my mouth. Which is when I went to the dentist, who did an x-ray of my mouth. Turns out I have three broken teeth but only one of them is one I knew about. What I thought was the second broken tooth is actually an oddly placed cavity that can be filled. The cavity I thought I had is actually something I’ve never even heard of; The dentist called it “transfer pain”. The broken tooth I knew about is a bottom tooth, and where I thought the cavity is a top tooth directly above it. What I have been feeling is the pain from the bottom broken tooth. Somehow it’s transferring the pain to the top tooth, and I can feel it all the way to the back of my right eye.

I also have four wisdom teeth. One of them is coming in sideways and pushing against the roots of my other teeth. Another is coming between two other teeth, pushing them apart. One is at the very end of my mouth, and it has a cavity. The last came in backwards, facing into my skull. All of which explains why I am in such great agony. Luckily, they gave me Vicodin to help with the pain. The bottle says one every six hours, but I am afraid of getting addicted, so I only take it if it starts to really hurt, which is once every day or two. They’re planning on doing surgery in…..June…. So… Yeah, prayers that I don’t go insane by then. Oh, and they gave me Penicillin to prevent infection, so there’s also that…

Just, prayers in general would be appreciated at this point.

Minecraft Bible: Noah’s Ark

Have you ever played a video game called Minecraft? If not, I highly recommend it. Especially if you are the creative type. I have recreated Noah’s Ark based on the dimensions given in the Bible. It’s much bigger than I could have anticipated. Here is a video of it for those interested. I don’t have a way of recording the gameplay from my Xbox 360, so I had to setup my tripod and film the TV screen.

Do Our Pets Go To Heaven?

Ecclesiastes 3:21 (KJV)

Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?

This seems like such a simple-to-answer question. Of course they don’t. Only humans have souls, and you have to have a soul to go to Heaven. But have you ever looked into it, or were you just assuming? Let’s take a quick look at a couple other verses.

Ecclesiastes 3:19 (KJV)

For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.

Proverbs 12:10 (KJV)

A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

Job 12:7 (KJV)

But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:

While those don’t actually say the words “Your pets are in Heaven”, it seems clear that there are pets in Heaven. Especially after reading this verse:

Revelation 5:13 (KJV)

And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

Every creature which is in Heaven? I don’t know anywhere in the Bible where it refers to humans as creatures. It only says “creatures” when talking about animals. So it would seem that animals are in Heaven, and I don’t see any reason why that should include our pets.

You’re probably wondering how, though, since they can’t choose to accept Christ. Well, that only is for humans, as they’re the ones who fell from grace by sinning in the Gardens. A cat didn’t eat from the Tree. So maybe they don’t need to be saved.

Fig Tree Reborn is now on Reddit

​I’ve been wanting to do a Fig Tree subreddit for a long time, and have finally done it. It’s pretty much blank at the moment because I’m having to do everything from my phone, which is very limited (and why I haven’t posted here in awhile). Feel free to subscribe to the subreddit and post whatever you want, pertaining to Scripture and related topics. However, trolling will get you banned and your post removed.

View the subreddit here.

Why I Don’t Believe In Atheism

Romans 1:18-22 (KJV)

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

 

I’ve been telling people for a long time that I don’t believe in atheists. I call them “nonbelievers”, and won’t use “atheist” unless it’s the name of something, like The Amazing Atheist (don’t watch his videos unless you can handle strong language. He’s angry about everything), or out of habit.For people like Richard Dawkins, I say “antitheist“. But other than that, I mostly stick to saying “nonbeliever”.

I have been asked why. Basically, it’s because of the opening series of verses. God put the knowledge of his existence in everyone’s heart, so there is no excuse to not believe. Therefore, there can’t be atheists, as they say there is no such thing as God. They know there is, yet refuse to acknowledge Him. They are nonbelievers. I especially love that last line, “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

Immediately, I think of people like the aforementioned Richard Dawkins and, of course, Stephen Hawking. They claim to be geniuses, and countless people agree, but even The Daily Mail calls out Hawking. In the documentary, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, Richard Dawkins makes the claim that he would accept literally any explanation of how we got here, including aliens, except for God putting us here. That’s willful ignorance.

2 Peter 3:3-5 (KJV)

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

That verse pretty much sums up nonbelievers, more specifically antitheists. They’re willing are ignorant. Give them undeniable facts, and they’ll find an excuse to deny it anyway.

I want to point out right now that I’m not saying nonbelievers are all militant. I know loads of nonbelievers who are some of the sweetest people I know and are willing to help those around them. But I have noticed that when you mention Jesus, they immediately become bitter. This one girl I know is so kind to everyone that I automatically assumed that she was a Christian, so I asked what church she went to. She immediately became angry (the only time I have ever seen her angry) and shouted, “I don’t believe in that ****!!”. She then apologized because that was so out of character for her. She never swears.

John 3:18 (KJV)

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Hebrews 4:12 (KJV)

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Basically, there’s power in  the name of Jesus. People who aren’t saved feel guilty, or condemned, and it makes them uncomfortable. I was like that before I was saved. When people would say “Jesus” I’d feel uneasy and if they said it too much I’d get angry. I’d also have to mutter it because it felt uncomfortable saying it out loud. Now I feel happy when I hear it, and I usually say it loud when I do say it. “The only way to Heaven is JESUS!”.

Finally, back to the last line of the opening verses. It says the people who don’t believe and think themselves to be wise are in fact “fools”. What are fools according to Scripture?

Psalm 53:1 (KJV)

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.

There you have it. Nonbelievers are fools. Even the sweet ones who wouldn’t actually hurt anyone. Love them, of course, but the Bible is clear that unless they believe on Jesus, they will remain willingly ignorant spend their eternity in a lake of fire. Don’t be on that side.

Minor Update

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve posted on this site.It’s not that I’ve lost interest or ran out of ideas. I didn’t have internet on my computer and my phone wasn’t letting me go on WordPress. But I’ve been updating the Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, so there’s that. A neighbour has been meeting me use his wifi, which I’ve been using on my phone and PS3 and Wii, but my computer wouldn’t connect, so he ran an ethernet cable over today so I can use internet on my computer. Now I might be able to post on t site again! I’ve missed posting on this site. I’ve actually had several ideas, including doing reviews of Christian (or supposedly Christian) movies like I did to Left Behind. God willing, this site will thrive from now on.

This Is Amazing Grace

I posted back in October that I was in the hospital and needed prayers. Little did I realize that it was only the beginning of the longest five months of my life.

Part 1: The Hospital Stay

On 15 October 2015, I was approved for an apartment I’d been trying to get since April 2014. For various reasons I kept getting denied, but I was finally approved. The plan was that I was going to move on Halloween, as it would give me time to pack and transfer the electric to the new address. I’d posted the announcement on Facebook and told everyone at church that night. It was the happiest news I’d had in a long time. I was in a little pain at the time, but I was getting an apartment so I decided to worry about it later.

However, around 2am that night I was woken up by the pain increasing. It was in my lungs, and it seriously hurt to breathe. I could only take very shallow breaths. After the sun rose, I called a friend to take me to the hospital. They kept me overnight, but only focused on my stomach even though it was my lungs that hurt. My pastor came to get me after they discharged me when all the tests came back negative (because, again, wrong area).

Over the next few days I just laid in bed in extreme pain, until one day I asked my roommates to take me to the hospital. They refused and told me to call an ambulance, which I did. The ambulance took me to the same hospital, which discharged me a couple hours later, saying I was fine even though I was still in pain.

I called another friend on the evening of 21 October 2015. She said she was taking me to a different hospital, one that actually cared about the patients. Within a couple hours they determined that I had pneumonia and put me in a room. They intended to just keep me a couple days until I got better, the whole time taking blood and testing it.

As they were preparing to discharge me a couple days later, one of the doctors noticed something unusual in one of my blood tests and said he was going to keep me for observation. I got upset, because I just wanted to go home. But a few hours later, when I would have otherwise been home, both my kidneys abruptly shot through with extreme pain, causing me to scream in agony. The nurses ran in and gave me morphine for the pain, which put me to sleep, and then rolled my bed to do tests. When I woke up they told me my kidneys had stopped working, and they didn’t know why yet.

Over the next few days my white and red blood cell count dropped, as well as my blood platelet count. They had an IV in each arm and an IV tower on each side of me.

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Over the next month, I had more tubes going in and out of me than I care to remember. They ended up having to put a catheter into my bladder and a dialysis catheter near it. They had me on dialysis. At one point I was unable to keep food down and constantly vomited. A nurse tried putting an NG tube up my nose. That’s a tube that goes into your nose and down into your stomach to drain it. It’s very unpleasant, and you’re unable to eat while it’s in.

It was in for two weeks.

My church family would come visit me as much as they could. One night after evening service, the “main people” (about ten people) came and stood around my bed and prayed over me.

The next day the NG tube was taken out. I was put on a clear liquid diet, but at least that tube was out.

One of the procedures they did was taking a sample of a swollen lymph node. The results came back negative.

I was in that hospital exactly three weeks, from 21 October to 11 November. On that day I was transferred to a different hospital, because the one I’d been at had done all they could and were still unable to figure out what was wrong with me.

On the evening of 18 November, I was rushed into ICU. A nurse had walked in on me having a seizure. I don’t remember much about that night, except that there was alot of doctors around me looking frantic, and my pastor and his wife were standing next to me. I kept drifting in and out of consciousness, and every time I woke up, my pastor and his wife were there. That’s pretty much all I remember about that night.

Over the next several days, every time I was taken to have a different procedure done and pass someone, they would say, “There’s the trooper!”. I assumed that’s what they said to everyone. Then one day as I was about to start dialysis, the nurse walked in and said that. I asked why everyone was saying that to me, and she looked shocked and said, “You mean you don’t know!?” When I shook my head she asked if I remember the ICU. I said yes and she said, “A nurse walked in on you having a seizure, so they rushed you to ICU, where they discovered that your hemoglobin was four!” I asked what that meant and she said, “You only had a pint of blood in your body! You were dangerously close to dying that night. They had at least five tubes in you rushing blood in”. The reason my pastor was there is because he’s my power of attorney and they called him when they discovered that.

One of the doctors wanted to look at the lymph node more thoroughly. So he had me scheduled for surgery to remove the whole thing. A couple days later, I finally had a diagnosis.

It was a rare blood cancer called Castleman Disease. It’s not full-fledged cancer, and the doctor called it a “semi-cancer”, but it still required chemo. They started treatment the next day, and immediately I started improving. My blood counts started going back up, and they were able to take me off dialysis because my kidneys started working again.

Part 2: Rehab

On 27 November 2015, the day after Thanksgiving, I was transferred to a rehab center. I’d been laying down the whole time I was in the hospital, and as a result I lost the use of my legs and basically had to relearn to walk. I could walk a little bit, but I relied heavily on a cane.

On 3 December, I went to church for the first time since before I got sick. I still couldn’t lift my legs too high, and ended up having to be hoisted into my pastor’s truck. When I walked into the church building, everyone stood up and came to me and we had a group hug. I started bawling, and when I looked up I noticed everyone else crying as well.

Afterward, it was agreed that someone with a smaller vehicle would take me back, so I could climb in easier. I asked if we could stop by my work so I could say hi to my old coworkers. I assumed they would be busy (it’s a restaurant), but to my surprise they didn’t have any customers. When I walked in, still relying on the cane, the girl behind the counter shouted my name in surprise, and there was a wave of my name going from the front of the restaurant to the back as the other people realized I was there and came to the front. We all got to chat for over ten minutes, and my manager told me that when I get better my job will still be waiting for me. Around that time my favourite coworker appeared and we hugged. I told her that I missed her the most.

Obviously, I lost the apartment I’d been approved for. But I called the office and the apartment manager said that since she knew me and understood my situation, she was holding another apartment for me. The first apartment was on the third floor, while the new one was basement level, which was more accessible to me in my condition.

On 18 December, Star Wars: The Force Awakens opened in theaters. I knew I had to see it before the Internet was filled with spoilers. So on 19 December, I used Uber to go to the theater. It was my first time out on my own in months. I was still using the cane, but at least I sat most of the time.

My last physical therapy session was on 31 December 2015. By then I didn’t really need the cane, but took it with me to church just as a precaution. I was unable to move into the apartment because I still needed to pay for the deposit and first month’s rent, and I hadn’t worked in months. Luckily, someone from church offered to pay for it. I asked them to wait until the end of the month, because then the rent would be prorated and he only had to pay $175 total instead of $700.

On 29 January 2016, I moved into my new apartment. On 6 February, i went back to work.

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Part 3: Independence

My pastor told me that the doctor told him after the ICU that I would never be independent again, that I’ll have to live in assisted living for the rest of my life. Two months later I was walking, living in an apartment alone, and back at work. Not just back at work, but now I have more hours and do more than before.

I went to my work yesterday to order something. Normally when I’m there I wear my work shirt, which buttons up. Yesterday I wore a t-shirt, and it was the first time one of my coworkers had seen me in one. She saw the top of the dressing on the line in my chest where they do the chemo, and asked if I was okay. I told her it was for chemo. She was shocked, and said she thought I was gone all those months because I just didn’t feel well. I told her a very summarized version of this post, and she said I was amazing.

I’m not amazing. I did nothing. In fact, most of October and November, and part of December I cried everyday most of the day. One of the nurses even said she could tell I was getting better because I wasn’t crying as much.

But my point is that I had nothing to do with my recovery. It was Jesus. I had so many people praying for me in so many different states and countries. I’m still doing chemo every three weeks, but the doctor said that as long as I continue treatments I should be fine. As thus far I am fine. I feel fine. Better than ever!

This whole experience has taught me patience. I no longer worry about anything. If He wanted me dead, I wouldn’t be here now. I even told the doctors that my life is in His hands. And I made it through. So I don’t worry anymore. If something happens, it’s going to happen regardless. Nothing I can do about it, so worrying about it would be counterproductive.

I didn’t forget about this blog. I’m still without Internet on my computer, and I hate typing posts on my phone (I have been updating the Instagram account, though, so there’s that). But this was weighing heavily on my heart tonight. Several friends have suggested that I write about it, but I have been refusing. I don’t remember everything because I was either unconscious or drugged up, so I didn’t expect this to be more than three paragraphs at the most. But it ended up being so long that I just went back and added the “Part”s. (Yes, I typed this whole thing on my phone. When God leads you, he really leads… The title of this post comes from this song, which I’ve had stuck in my head the whole time I was typing it)

The biggest thing I hope people get from this is that prayer does work, and that anything can happen if you put your full trust and faith in Jesus. Also, doctors don’t know everything. Around the time I went into the hospital, my stepfather was also diagnosed with cancer (but, like, the real thing. Not a “semi-cancer”). A month ago he had tests done and his cancer is completely gone. The doctors are baffled with his case and with mine. So if you are diagnosed with something and the doctors tell you it’s hopeless, don’t listen to them. Jesus is called the Great Physician for a reason!

God is good!