Friday, September 27, 2013

Hello Ethiopia!

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.
Heb 11:1

I often employ faith unknowingly in life - whether it is believing a patient will get better with augmentin duo forte when in fact I have no more detailed understanding of the underlying mechanisms than the knowledge that it is an antibiotic that can get into the cell wall of bacteria and inactivate its' functions (by some in-itself-near-mythical unknowable biochemical process).

However I often have no idea if the patient is indeed, harbouring that particular bacteria, or if he is, whether the bacteria is in fact, the cause of the patient's chest infection. And even if the bacteria is present, whether it is harbouring resistance to that particular medication.

Why is it, then, that a stepdown to augmentin is often taken after a few days' worth of intravenous antibiotics in hospital?

I believe it is because:
- we've seen it work before in other patients.
- we believe the doctors who taught us to do it in medical school/ward rounds know what they are doing.
- we are so used to prescribing it that we feel we know what we're doing (the common side effects ie liver function derangement, interstitial nephritis, clostridium difficile associated diarrhoea, resistance etc)

Isn't faith in God much the same?

We believe in God and His Son's resurrection work and the Holy Spirit in us because:
- we've seen Him work before in other people, and in ourselves.
- we believe the Bible and its' authority as the Word of God (2 Tim)

And the more we trust God, the more it feels almost natural to run to him - more natural to praise Him for the good, and rely in His guidance during the trials.

And no, I didn't prescribe augmentin to anyone today! But I'm trusting in God and His provision and guidance for Ethiopia Part 2!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

"So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful." 1 Cor 4:1-2

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Old and grayheaded

"O God, You have taught me from my youth; And to this day I declare Your wondrous works.
Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come." Ps 71:17-18

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Tools in a workshop

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Eph 2:10

To be a tool that has been made with a purpose , a specific purpose in mind

To allow that tool to then have a mind of its' own

To allow that tool to go off and do it's own thing - and to inevitably see it wear itself down working on unintended means

And to welcome the tool back into the workshop, its' purpose unchanged and its' functions upgraded despite years of rust/blunting/broken parts

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast." v8-9

Friday, August 30, 2013

Reading: 1 Peter 2

"Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king." v17

Interesting statement and a guide even in shaky political times.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Reading: Psalm 116



"Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live." v2

"What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me?" v12

"Oh Lord, truly I am Your servant; I am Your servant, the son of Your maidservant; You have loosed my bonds.
I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord."v16-17

The natural response to God for hearing us is to offer of ourselves to Him, and to call on Him more!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

But the end of all things is at hand

Reading: 1 Peter 4

Setting: The beginning of a relationship, one that I have been almost too scared to admit may never have happened.

Verses that stood out (probably through my biased setting):

"But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.
And above all things have fervent love for one another, for 'love will cover a multitude of sins'.
Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.
As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." v7-10

I guess in the big picture this WAS written to the church and not intended to be applied in a relationship setting, but I'm thinking - there could be worse things a relationship could be modeled on, and I'm all for more advice:-)

Prayer for each other has and will be on my list of priorities as a couple wanting to stay in tune with God while growing close to one another.
Fervent love - that stays after the initial starburst of the 'honeymoon period' has died down is both something I'm praying for and something I'm sure will be present.
Accomodating and making each other feel welcome, both physically and into each other's lives may not be the easiest of processes - especially how both of us (or myself particularly) have becomed accustomed to living as an individual and how my life is structured in a not particularly sharing kind of way (not just with food!) but also to NOT GRUMBLE about it? Going to have to remember that one in the days ahead:-)
And this area, which is a new concept to me - using our gifts to edify each other within the relationship setting - going to have to bring this one up with Penny - this could be exciting!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5


Verses that stood out:

"See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. 
Rejoice always, 
pray without ceasing,
in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Do not quench the Spirit" v15-19

Was impressed by how each of these verses seemed to flow - the overspill of each action causing the next.
In pursuing good and not repaying the bad, rejoicing always is useful - it's a lot harder to not see the good in people when we have an attitude of rejoicing!
Rejoicing leads to prayer, in which an attitude of thankfulness then comes naturally.
And the Holy Spirit, being both the instigator and the embodiment of God in us, fuels the process and is strengthened by it simultaneously.

Cool, right?

Pre-interview reading

The reading: Ecclesiastes 5

The setting: pre-nephrology multi-speciality interviews, knowing there's 20 applicants shortlisted for this and only 10 jobs for 1st year Advanced Trainees.

Verses that stood out (actually the whole passage did):

"Do not be rash with your mouth, and let your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; therefore let your words be few. For a dream comes through much activity, and a fools voice is known by his many words." v2-3

"When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; for He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed-" v4

"Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, nor say before the messenger of God that it was an error.." v6a

"For in the multitude of dreams and many words there is also vanity. But fear God." v7

"As he came from his mother's womb, naked shall he return, to go as he came; and he shall take nothing from his labor which he may carry away in his hand" v15

"Here is what I have seen: It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage.
As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor-this is the gift of God.
For he will not dwell unduly on the days of his life, because God keeps him busy with the joy of his heart." v 18-20

A superficial reading through this brought home the following to me:
1. To be transparent in my words and honest and forthright, not just in the interviews but also when I start work - wherever that may be.
2. To always DO more than I SAY
3. To not make excuses, especially after over-promising something
4. To keep the fear of the Lord in my life
5. To strive for works that are everlasting, and not those that are mortal
6. To be content with my lot, whether rich or poor or in between, being the gift of God (the gift not being the situation of being poor or rich etc, but the part about keeping myself busy with the joy of His heart)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Wow it's been a year!

What a lot has happened in a year. And what a lot there still is to come. Some big decisions will have been made the next time something gets written here I feel.

And maybe I'll stop letting things happen and be proactive for once.