Forgiveness

2E90A8C2-1CFD-4F34-A828-B24CE831DE30“Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.””
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭18:32-35‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is an intentional, voluntary process when a victim changes the negative feelings and attitude regarding the offender. When someone has been mean to me and hurt me, there is the natural tendency to want to get revenge and make them feel the same pain and suffering. But, despite what feels justifiable, forgiving is the truly right thing to do and it will give ultimate freedom from the offender. Furthermore, God wants us to forgive others as He forgives us for our transgressions. Personally, I forgive quickly and easily, but I have a difficult time forgetting, which leaves some lingering negative feelings. When no apology has been offered, the forgiving is especially hard for me. Truly the offender does not deserve forgiveness, but neither do I.

Displaced

04197951-F4CF-4075-A279-80FD0C4460C5“I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭34:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Displaced

This past weekend, one of my grand dogs that visited me seemed a little out of sorts, as he was displaced from his usual surroundings and primary caregiver. His disposition was just a little tense and his sleep patterns were off cycle. Having been physically exhausted from an especially stressful work week, needless to say I was very annoyed. But then I started thinking about the situation from his perspective. He leaves the comfort of his familiar home and the full attention from his owner to come to a strange place where he is not the primary focus. Obviously this change would make anyone unsettled. Sometime life can be very unsettling and no matter how displaced we may feel, we need to focus on finding joy under all circumstances, for we are never displaced from God’s love.

Weekends

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“And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.”
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭2:2-3‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Weekends
What would we do without a weekend? The present concept of the weekend first arose in the industrial north of Britain in the early nineteenth century. It was the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America Union to first successfully demand a five-day work week in 1929. If you believe in The Bible, you understand that even God rested on the seventh day of creation and most religions have some planned rest weekend period, observing their belief system. Growing up on a farm, we worked 6 days a week hard core and only necessary work was done on Sunday, as it was our observed day of religion and rest. I remember being surprised (and jealous) that many of my friends’ families did not work on Saturday. Heck, at age 6, I would drive the farm tractor, including on public highways. By age 12, I would be in charge of the hired help in our tobacco fields. I often tell people that my motivation to become a physician was growing up on a farm. Anyway, what has happened in my lifetime amazes me—we have moved toward a 4 day work week. At my stage in life, I am loving it; but, are longer weekends a double edged sword? Will the idle time simply lead to more “party time” and a desire for even more time off?? Perhaps our work structure follows the principles of radiation therapy—in general 5 days a week works better than 4 and better than 7, showing some rest is necessary, but too much is harmful.

RomCom

22DA6294-53D9-40C8-BCBE-1F979EFE6B95“But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”—”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭2:9‬ ‭ESV‬‬

RomCom

Last night I watched a romantic comedy, a romcom. Yes, I actually tend to like them because they leave you feeling pleasantly satisfied that all worked out well. As I quietly pondered why romcoms evoke such emotions, it occurred to me that life is meant to be similar. If we put our faith in God, He will make everything work out—that is the promise and the ultimate delight. What joy we can have through Him as we live with this hope. And just like the romcom, we will live happily ever after.

Johnson City

D3AB1579-E661-40A4-A797-64DBF2B1DEB4Johnson City has a population of only 67,000 in an area of 43 square miles nestled in the mountains of Northeast Tennessee. It is ranked number 65 by Forbes as a place for Business and Careers. It ranks number 5 in Kiplinger’s list for the Least-Expensive Cities For Living in the U.S.A. The low cost of living is attributed to affordable homes, utilities, transportation and health-care. Additionally there is no state income tax, moderate weather and low crime. Along with its rich multicultural history, there are plenty of indoor and outdoor activities. Johnson City is certainly a wonderful place to consider living.

Compliance

A81D3E8A-6396-454F-8A19-430D8F126432“Better was a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who no longer knew how to take advice.”
‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭4:13‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Compliance

My friend in the insurance industry and I discussed the relatively recent emphasis on compliance in our respective businesses and concluded that all the associated added expenses of mandated compliance have added virtually nothing to society except excess costs. Certainly I have seen so much government regulation in healthcare that is just ridiculous, another byproduct of too many lawyers. We allow non-medical people to decide what is “good” medicine, which always requires excessive documentation, documenting what I call ”e-garbage”, instead of medically relevant facts. And I can’t imagine how we plan to save years of electronic health records, since computers have made it so easy to generate volumes and volumes of senseless information. Of course, the electronic health records are astronomically expensive and have accounted for an increase in medical error deaths. Finally, while we have compliance departments that make sure we practice “good” medicine, we have far too few “hands on” patient care staff. Literally patients can bleed to death without anyone noticing while in a hospital intensive care unit, while the hospital is being compliant.

Dogma

EEB9FDAC-AAD5-4A5A-A00C-EF18507D523A“Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.””
‭‭John‬ ‭8:47‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Dogma

My dogma comes from The Bible. Many seek to tear it apart, claiming that it is contradictory and full of errors. In my life, I have found that most of these people have not studied The Bible, not even reading a single version of the Bible. For the past 10 years, I have read many versions and studied it through various sources.(unfortunately I cannot understand the original languages) My efforts have lead me to much wisdom and understanding, but far from where I hope to be. Indeed there are many truths within this great book and I believe it is The Word of God. One of my favorite movies is Devil’s Advocate and it portrays our legal system in a way that parallels what is happening in many of our courts. As a scientist and physician, I question everything, so I encourage others to do the same. Don’t accept anything as dogma until you have thoroughly investigated, but don’t discount anything without that same level of scrutiny.