Thursday, September 06, 2007

Be Thou my Vision

I seem to be getting half of my post titles from songs :) but anyway, today I was listening to this local artist Dave Villano who just does instrumental stuff and the song Be Thou my Vision was on there and I started thinking about my old church in Denver. Though I wasn't Christian, it was the first place where I found God. I was baptized Catholic and attempted to learn stuff from the Bible. I remember really clearly talking to one of my best friend that also went to my church who was having issues with another girl. I said, "Well, you know how Jesus says to forgive? Well - maybe you should forgive her." I don't know if that worked or not, :) but I figured it would get added to 'Katie's doing-good points.' list that I thought God kept in Heaven to check to see if we could get in. Anyway, I remember in 7th-9th grade where I didn't know if I wanted to be Catholic anymore since half my friends were against organized religion. I started ditching Sunday School and instead sat in the back of the service. I'd still wait for my grandparents at the same spot by the classrooms so they'd think I went to class. Then I'd participate in the second service along with them.

Now, I think it's hilariously ironic that the kid that wanted to rebel against organized religion got a double-dose of church during that time, but I would just sit there and think about what I had learned about God thus far and just ask Him to help me with this quuestion. I knew too much about Jesus to reject him. I was telling one of my friends, "Well, I might not want to be in organized religion, but I can't give up believing in Jesus because then I'd never get into heaven for sure." and they said, "what do you mean?" and I said, "Well, you have to believe Jesus existed and was God, and you have to be really good to get into heaven." Of course coming to CSU and learning that admission into Heaven was based on grace by faith, changed some of that...

Anyway, I remember that the songs really stuck with me. A lot of them were taken from passages in the Bible, which, looking back, it was somewhat valid to ponder them as it was as close as I would get to memorizing the Word except for it I memorized the passages that were read during the service which, at the time, I didn't really see very benificial to do. I found a lot of comfort in the songs though and they would go through my head if I needed to lean on them for comfort.

In church there was where I really felt close to God and really sought after Him even though I never really understood His salvation until I got to college. God kept me in that environment from ages 7-18 to cushion and protect me from things that would happen outside that world. Church was my third home where I sought after and found comfort in God my true Father.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Unified worship

These past three weeks at Summitview, I notice that I start thinking about the other congregations I've been in and pray for them and just let myself be in unity with them esepcially if their services fall at around the same time as the one I'm in at the time.

Today I thought about three churches: Summitview, an E-Free church in Littleton, the chapel service at the hospital in Denver, and this small community church near my house. I attended the community church for three months, the E-Free church for the other 9 months that I was home, and the hospital chapel service on the Sundays when I had to work. The image was the same: the congregation singing a song sometimes with a band accompanying them. In the E-Free and the community church, the hymns were on power-point slides. The congregations varied in each location: The E-Free church was as crowded as Summitview and many people were white upper/middle class. The community church was a bit more diverse, and in the hospital chapel, most of the congregation wore scrubs and spanned the rainbow of skin-tones. Sometimes patients came to the service, so someone would come in by wheelchair or with a bandage or crutches.

In each service, several people stood with their hands raised during song or peayer, they were solemn when they got communion, and their faces lit up when they recognized each other Sunday after Sunday. In each service, several people were moved to tears during song.
At the hospital chapel, there was only one instance where we sang during the service. The Chaplain was going to read Abraham or Moses' parting blessing and one of the congregates remembered that it was turned into a hymn. When the chaplain couldn't find the reference, this congregate started singing the hymn. This particular person was at the chapel because his fiance was in the ICU on life-support due to an alcohol overdose. One of my co-workers was already emotionally wired because she didn't know whether a chronic condition that she had previously had resurfaces, and another co-worker had lost her aunt. I was a bit sad because one of my friends had recently been diagnosed with a mild form of a genetic disorder. As this congrete's voice rang out, as he was singing through his tears, everyone joined in. My two co-workers started crying as did I. Several other hospital staff congregates including the chaplain had tears in their eyes. We were singing to God in spite of everything, in spite of the pain and suffereing we saw throughout the hospital and in our own lives and families. We were singing because God was good through it all.

As I sang at Summitview, all those images flashed through my head from the churches in Denver. As we sang the song "Taste and See", I realized that I've fellowshiped with people in all these congregations as we sang cried and prayed to God. And every Sunday, though we are all separated distance wise, we still glorify His name together.

Friday, August 24, 2007


"Be pleased O Lord to deliver me; O Lord make haste to help me! Let them be ashamed and brought to mutual confusion Who seek to destroy my life" - Psalm 40: 13-14 NKJ translation

That verse struck me and made me think about today's academic community. In my Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) graduate school courses, we center mostly on discussion over the tons and tons and (did I mention tons) of readings we do before class. Our first classs introduced the idea of nature versus nurture and how advances in genetics have added to this debate. We of course, got into talking about ethics surrounding this new genetic technology including cloning, embryonic stem-cell research, and abortion as a result of genetic testing. Being premed I wanted to put in my two-cents every few seconds, but I held my tounge to see what my other classmates said.

Confusion. Everyone had an idea, but no one believed any government, much less this present Administration should control and regulate this new technology. Everyone was entitled to their own opinions, yet no one knew what they would do if they were in that situation, "We can't judge. We can't judge." "How do I really know what's right or wrong?" "What is right and wrong?" "We each have to decide for ourselves." "How do you know what's right for you is right for me?" Everyone was speaking, but with no framework of some overarching social norms (morals) in which to speak in. I put in this about government regulation: "Well, when the government regulates something, it has some sort of value structure in mind. When it does its best to provide health insurance to the vulnerable, when it allows for free education to a point, these things reflect the values of the government and the society. Our society hasn't settled on a moral framework for this new technlology, but when it does, I believe the government will regulate it according to the societal norms." It wasn't advocating for a Christian point of view per se, but I was saying that there was something called right and wrong and there are overarching principles that govern society.

I am not confused because I trust in God and He is my guide. That doesn't make decision-making a snap, but I know His law and I know that He is sovereign, and the founders of this nation were heavily influenced by His law, if not even strong Christians.

It was amazing though, how I could mentally tease apart the debate while others in the class, instructor included, flounded and fought with their own, and the philosophy of reletavism's confusion. God has confused them, I believe, but I also believe that He will open their eyes and ears once they turn to Him.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Indescribable revisited

In my last blog, I mentioned the song Indescribable. Thinking about it more this Sunday, I realize that I cried during that song for several reasons nearly all of them having to do with how my work in the hospital changed the way I view God. Like I said in my last blog, images of God's broken creation in the form of sick/injured patients came to my mind, but my mind's eye also saw those patients who praised God through their illnesses and/or made tremdoous strides in their recovery. Indescribable joy and praise to God was the feeling I felt when I walked into a room and saw a patient sitting up in bed talking to me when the last time I saw her, she was heavily sedated with a tube in her throat to deliver oxygen rendering her unable to talk. I couldn't take my eyes off of her as she sat up smiling as I bustled around putting up the rails and preparing to move her by bed (she still wasn't strong enough to walk) to a procedure. I was so worried that she wouldn't be cognitively intact because she had several scars running down her scalp, but yet we were talking like two people getting aquainted on a bus or over coffee.

Indescribable was the same awe for God's restoration when I saw the mended face and eyes of a patient who for a few weeks was blinded by severe facial trauma.

Indescribable was my feeling of how God comforted me as I transported several patients I had known after they had passed. He was my calm as I carried out my work duties, and He was my shoulder when I did have that moment where I could just cry. And He was my joy when I realized that the patients may be with Him with no more pain and sufering.

Indescribable was my sense of how God truly did use me when a high-school aged volunteer told me how he had learned so much from me when he told me at my going-away potluck. This kid wanted to pursue the premed track in college, and I did everything I could to explain what he was seeing in patient care and how that would relate to his high school and college science classes. I also told him that being in this field was hard at times when patients suffered, but God would be your strength and theirs, and even in our job as transporters, we could do what we could to try and alleviate their pain. I never realized what an impact I had made until he told me. Knowing I had impacted one of the next generation of doctors was rather humbling and I thanked God for it.

My understanding of God, His blessings, and His character grew as my exprience in the medical field grew. Yet, God is still a mystery, and the medical field brought that out as well. When I struggled as to how to pray for patients wanting them to be healed but yet not wanting their suffering to go on, when I wondered how someone in the position of healing can be so demeaning to those lower on the 'medical totem-pole', when medicine sometimes seemed to put more money into a technilogical arms race and the latest archetecture for clinics while patients still crowded into the ER and the acute clinics because no one else would see them - These times were the times where God's hand seemed a mystery. Yet I never stopped praising Him or trusting Him with the medical field.

So, why did I cry when I heard the song Indescribable? Because I knew more of the goodness, the comfort, and how muc more God is a mystery now then I did before.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

From the wards to the lecture halls

I return once more to CSU. From wandering the halls where antiseptic and other smells waft from different rooms to halls where people sit and wait for classes to begin. Going from helping a patient who is in a lot of pain move to helping a study buddy who is stressed out. Campus and the hospital seem like they are a world apart.

Working in the hospital has changed me in ways I think I might just be figuring out. Like today at church during worship, I reflected on the songs "Joyous Light" and "Indescribable" by Chris Tomlin. I had always liked the song Indescribable in undergraduate but now when I pondered the song, I pondered God's creation in the human body, but images of the human body sick and broken came to my mind. Tears flowed down my face because I knew now the pain of watching another human suffer illness and injury, but yet through that, I could see God's hand still. This same song that had me jumping around joyously because pictures of perfect molocules from my textbooks ran through my brain now had me in tears because I had seen the other side of my premed classes: the pain and suffering in the patients I saw. That aspect change me, yet my praise of God never changed. However, I feel apart from the world I knew because of so much happening. WIth work and with helping a family member who had lost her job.

That crisis plus work was my life for a good 10 months with me clinging to God through it all. I left my undergraduate year happy to be graduating, progressing in my walk with God and recovering from two recent losses. The year off the family crisis and being immersed in a clinical setting changed me and maybe even scarred me again. So, who am I now? Who is this graduate student here in the Library where I had sat as an undergraduate? I still access that joy I had my first 4 years of being Christian, but now I also understand what it means to cry out to God when I am in pain or when I see the pain of others and it makes me hurt inside too. God shaped me somehow through all this. Now with this new shape, I must somehow fit into the world of campus I had once walked before.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Going Ahead Looking Back

This week I start the daunting task of packing up all my stuff to take back up to CSU for graduate school. I haven't been through my college stuff in over a year. Since I'm studying Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS), my huge biology book will remain behind :( :( but since I'm taking genetics, my biochemistry book gets to return with me. I should also probably take my Evolution a Theory in Crisis book with me too now come to think off it...

So many books, so many tapes and CD's from church with a bunch of messages... all my stuff tells a story of who I was in college - a mix between HDFS and premed nerd and a Christian girl who had a crazy preoccupation with Creationism and Intellegent Design. I also found some journals and some drawings I did in the darker moments of undergrad - mainly when I lost my uncle and grandpa. I saw how God grew me. Looking at the messages I chose to have in my 'sermon library' much of them center around Godward growth but also God's hand and purpose through pain and suffering and about what we would find at the end of our earthly walk with Him. I also found a message with a note on it to a good premed friend saying that "There's a premed analogy in the middle of this message which is cool!!!" , so I'm curious as to what that is now. :)

I also have to pack new stuff - kitchen stuff since the Lory Apartments have their own kitchen (yay!) So, I'm taking with me some of my 'old life' and I have to start building this new life in graduate school.

Whenever we transition, parts of the old life integrate with parts of the new. We all know this already, but it's interesting coming back to CSU because God grew me a lot during undergrad and especially with this year off working at the hospital. How will He use the lessons I learned as a premed and as a patient transporter to continue to build me as a HDFS graduate student? I have no idea as I am not God! However, looking back and seeing how He has changed me and how amazing that has been, I'm looking forward to this next chapter in my life and how it will reveal His glory.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Never Alone

"You are not alone / Know that I will fight the tide to be together / When you feel alone / Listen to this song to make your heart feel better." - Sanctus Real

I am listening to "Alone" by Sanctus Real. I thought about the video that a few people from my D-Team made the Spring of 2005. I remember that video because it was the first music video I helped make and that in the middle of making it, I recieved a phone call that I had to go back to Denver becauase my grandpa had worsened in the Intensive Care Unit. I remember crying with the very people that made the music video around me as we prayed. When I got back from that school year the following fall semester, my grandpa had passed, and when I watched the completed video, I just cried becauase I remembered it.

I just bought the song off of iTunes and as I'm listening to it and "Everything About You", My mind went back to my undergrad years which weren't so long ago, but in a way they were.

I started out a nerdy premed student who know God had to be important but I had no idea how He would change me. I became Christian mid 1st semester Freshman year and the changes began. Then the pain started. My uncle had his first occurance of lung cancer and that was scary but it was eradicated pretty quickly with chemotherapy. Freshman year was great. Sophomore year's worst pain was O-Chem. That was it. And I managed to get a C in O-Chem II. God revealed Himself as Creator to me then and I made an attempt to show my openly atheist professor that there was a God. My classmate and brother-in-Christ handed our professor a tract.

After my sophomore year the pain increased. My uncle was sick again with a terminal recurrence of cancer. I also idealized a person whom I wanted so badly to be there with me, and God had to break me from that obsession. Junior year my uncle got worse and died. I had to hold my pain in as I helped another family member deal with it. Yet I knew God was holding me close. I don't remember that much of 1st semester junior year, but I know that God continued to make Himself real through my reading of His Word and by the testimony and witness of my friends at CSU.

Second semester Junior year around Finals week, my grandpa got sick. Two back to back hardships. Studying for the MCAT was my reality check. Looking at pictures of the human body or molecules for organic chemistry review made me realize God was sovereign and rational even though these situations didn't appear rational at all.

That summer was hard. Really hard. God kept me in Fort Collins where I witnessed the changes He brought through the Summitview Infusion. And He kept a premed brother-in-Christ by me to help me through this ordeal. He started to become a very good friend through this, and for that, I was very thankful. My grandpa died the end of the summer. It's all in my blog here.

Senior year I took Biochemistry. There were many times I was almost brought to my knees in praise of God during the lectures as His awesomeness in the smallest workings of life were revealed. God through His Word, Biochemistry, and again His work in my friends kept me believing in His faithfulness, His plan, His comfort. God who held every molecule in my body making them all work properly could hold me when I felt overwhelmed with grief.

This last year I worked at a hospital. I've lost 4 patients that I have gotten to know pretty well, each time I've shed tears. I've seen a lot of suffering but a lot of amazing recoveries. God's hand is hard at work at the hospital.

So back to the song by Sanctus Real. Why am I listening to it over and over again? Because it's a reminder that God has never left me alone. Even through these past three years, when others may have thought He had left me, it was then He was the closest. I am starting to believe that this lesson was the main spiritual lesson of my undergraduate career. It was taught by pain, by a lot of pain, pain where I wished God would stop my physical heart and end it, but He wanted me to know that He would hold my spiritual heart as I cried.

I wonder what my graduate school years will be like. I hope they will be good. Whatever happens, I know for sure, wether things are good or bad, God will always be at my side.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Medical Small Group

Last Sunday I worked, so I went to church at the chapel there. I felt, as I've felt many times before, this connectedness with them as I have not felt since leaving the Small Group I was in at CSU. After the short service, my co-worker and I chatted with another member of this small 'congregation' as we headed back to work. About 10 employees are regular attenders. Most are custodial staff because they can be free of their duties for 15 - 20 minutes while the nurses and people higher up on the patient-care ladder can't.

I wondered why I felt so much closer to this small band of people than I did to the people in the large evangelical church I attend on my weekends off. Then it came to me: Fellowship. Fellowship daily on the job, fellowship when we talk about a patient together, fellowship when we talk about our own lives among each other. We are connected in all levels: as co-workers, as caregivers to our patients, and sharing our lives with each other.

This is exactly what the Small Groups at CSU strive for: unity in service, unity in being open to each other, and unity in living. That is how the apostles lived in the book of Acts and what Paul asks the churches to stive for in his epistles. I am thankful to God for our Medical Small Group in the hospital because we feel this strong unity. With the Great Physician overseeing the hospital, we can gain strength from Him and trust Him with our day to day tasks and the patients He entrusts to us with their care.

Monday, April 16, 2007

An abrupt lesson at VTech

Today at Virginia Tech University 31 people died in a shooting. As a former undergraduate and soon to be graduate student at CSU, I felt for the students as one of their own. Mom said the college years are supposed to be the best years of your life, and as students, we have a chance to break free from home, but we have (at least) a four year delay before entering the real world.

College in some ways, is a haven. A unique place to let one's mind loose on the most current ideas in acadamia and for some, college is one big party. For my first two years, I felt that my future was mine, and the university atmosphere sheltered me so I was free to pursue my premed ambitions without real-world responsibilities. Not all students are carefree like this, and I certainly wasn't my junior and senior year.

But today shattered that illusion for the student body at Virginia Tech. A time when mortality is the last thing on 18-24 year old's minds, students are probably realizing that they were one step away from death or injury. In the next lecture hall over from the one where the shooting took place, in the dining hall instead of the hallway where the dorm shooting was, in the library instead of in class. Chance it seems probably kept some students alive and unhurt.

What are we as Christian college students and alums to do? How does this affect campus preachings? How does this affect outreach to other students? Mortality may be on their minds more. The illusion that the world is theirs to control: what hall to live in, what major to choose, when to have class is shattered. Yet debates won't center around any sort of lofty academic philosophical disussions of doctrine. Questions of faith will be genuine, a student body that's suddenly aware of their fragile mortality will demand to know if there is a Creator, a God, and where He is. Therefore, we can also ask God to show those students on that campus and students everywhere how His hand was in this day, and how He can bring His healing and His light into this situation.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

'Secret' philosophies in the Light

So today, (Easter) during the service at the hospital chapel, the chaplain's homily centered around rebuking this book / DVD called 'The Secret' or Law of Attraction.' It's this new philosophy someone put in a book about how we attract positive stuff by thinking and doing positive and attracting negative outcomes by thinking and doing negative things. New-Age stuff, but apparently a lot of people are caught up in it. The chaplain presented it in a play (put on by the other chaplains) about a woman in the hospital visited by two different people. One believes in The Secret and tells her to think positive and do positive things and her disease will go away, and another tells her to trust in God because He will see her through it and ease her suffering through the doctors and staff in the hospital. The play ended with the patient accepting God's truth versus 'The Secret' because she realizes that false philosophy doesn't make much sense and is therefore a lie.

That was amazing to see that truth brought right there to healtcare workers from houskeeping staff to patient transporters to nurses and clerks as well as visitors and two patients. There was a rousing "AMEN!" when the chaplain proclaimed that trusting in the light of God as Jesus was the ultimate hope. Twenty voices rising from a classroom sized chapel in a public hospital is powerful because the Spirit of God is behind them in power. I prayed that we'd all be able to unite in prayer and testify that this new false philosophy or any others are false compared to the hope and truth found in God.

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who ask you to give the reason for the hope you have." 1 Pet 3:15

More info: google 'The Secret DVD' or 'Law of Attraction'

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Psalm 44 and the US

As I read this, I got goosebumps. Because when I read this, I knew David was talking about the previous victories and the current (at the time the psalm was written) military / political hardship Israel was facing, but I realized it could very easily be George Bush writing this psalm as he deals with the war in Iraq and political issues at home. He testifies that he is Christian, so I won't say anything about if he's showing it or not, or if he truly is trusting God for the war or not. I don't know.

What I do know is that the US is a nation that claims to be historically Christian, just as the nation of Isreal during David's time was uniquely Jewish by history and by ethnic make-up. The nation of Israel went through periods of genuine righteousness and periods where their worship was more of a routine and their focus was on idols. The US appears to be slipping into a nation where idol worship - humanism, etc. seems to be creeping in. However, there are still many genuine Believers and Christianity isn't being outwardly persecuted.

Therefore, like the psalmist, some Believers may be asking why is God turning His face from us as we struggle militarily and politically? They may be asking for Him to reveal His reasons. Lord, if we are straying from our uniquely Christian roots, please reveal it to us. Or has He? Is He using these current political events as discipline for His children? For a nation that outwardly claims He is its God?

May we as Believers always pray and encourage other citizens that it is in God that we truly trust, and in God we truly stand.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

When the Lord gives back!

At first I thought this would be two seperate posts, but I realized that they both have the same theme! So here goes!

God keeps His promises. And God gives us what we ask for in accordance with His will. Easy concepts, hard to put into practical knowledge sometimes. But I have just experienced two instances where He has given something back that He had allowed to be taken away.

The first thing He restored was my enjoyment in playing the piano. About a month after my uncle died in December 2004, I was playing the piano one day and I just started crying. For some reason, that scared me, that playing music could unlock so much emotion. I stopped playing the piano then mainly because of time constraints, but also because I think I had this fear that my emotions would just be too overpowering when the music unlocked them. Well, a few weeks ago, Mom remarked about how I hadn't played since my return in May 2006 and would I just play a little bit. So, I started on the scales and these technique exercises. I realized that I could play again! It's weird, but it's like the grief I had with the two deaths in my family took away that joy, but now it's back. So, I try to play a little bit at least once a week. But when I could play without crying, I really did praise God because He gave that joy back to me. :)

The second thing He gave me was lost time. After my sophomore year, with my brain still loaded with O-Chem trivia - um - I mean - O-Chem knowledge - I really really wanted to do some lab research. I mainly wanted to do it to be a good premed and have it on my application, but anyway, I applied and I would've gotten in had my letters of recommendation arrived in a more timely manner. (I have since wholeheartedly forgiven said professors and advisors for that :) At first I was really upset because there went my dreams for spending the summer up to my ears in cells and solvents in a lab somewhere on campus. Instead, I went home to deal with my uncle's diagnosis of terminal cancer. From that moment until I graduated, grief and crisis were honestly the two things that overshadowed that college experience. Had God's light not shone through that darkness, I would've been utterably miserable.

Then I got the letters. The first was the rejection letter from UCHSC saying that they would not interview me, though I had applied. The next day, I receieved a letter from CSU on their accepting me into a graduate program. That program would last two years.

Yesterday, I spoke with someone at the teaching hospital where I work, and they mentioned the opportunity to do research. For a summer.

Suddenly, it hit me. I asked for a summer of research. God postponed it because He knew I had to be home with my family. Though I didn't ask for it, I wished I could experience my last two years of college without the grief. God granted me admission to a two year master's program.

I recognized God's restoration right there. It was nearly like the Isrealite's going to the promised land and being delayed for - well - a long time - but eventually making it in.

Poem I wrote yesterday

Oh God, my God who
Lifts me from my tears
This Savior, Lord has
Redeemed my tearstained years

Of witnessing sickness, feeling grief
Wounds of twice fresh cuts,
Twice drawn deep

Down the fabric of family,
Down the center of my heart
Twice drawn out illnesses
Twice long suffering wrought

Yea, this day, God revealed
A possible pathway to heal.
Twenty seven months, yes
In tears and in pain.

Yet, another twenty-seven
May be restored again.
Once more to passions
To learn and study medicine

To God be the glory,
Even now as tears I cry
Of joy, no longer trial
For God, my spirit He revives

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Iraq, the End Times indicator, and what it means for Academia and Medicine

Writing about my life is boring. I'm just 1 patient transporter, 1 child of God. But there is the whole WORLD out there to think about!!! Hence, this post will focus on much larger issues!

I just read an old TIME magazine report of the Sunni / Shiite schism in Iraq and the Middle East. It seems the rift began after the initial creation of the religions of Islam. They were going through establishing a church leadership and they had a disagreement on who would be the first Imam (the Muslim equivalent of the Pope). The Sunnis wanted one and the Shiites wanted another leader. The Sunni group had their favorite established as the first Imam, and as human nature is rather greedy, they have 'lorded' over the Shiite groups for the most part, thus that whole domination / oppression has caused the problems seen today in Iraq.

The consequences of a civil war in Iraq could flare up the Sunni / Shiite divide elsewhere, and experts say it's starting already with groups in the West Bank / Gaza and Lebanon being somewhat at odds.

So, the question TIME ultimately asks through this article is "What is there to do about this issue?" More accurately, "What can the west (more accurately, the United States) do about bringing this divide to an end and what will it cost us (the US mostly and then Europe following?)" The pending unrest is something a lot of people understandably get worked-up about because it means more unrest which would cause economic failures and more importantly, humanitarian suffering.

The question that I and other Believers must ask when we read this is: What is God's hand in this? We all know the end is coming. John Meyer is a rather adamant at teaching that the end is quite soon – as in within 1-3 generations. At first I listened with a smile and nod when he would get into it in a sermon. Then I would shrug it off as 'John's speculation' and begin more urgent things like planning for medical school.

However, the world situation is getting rather urgent with the seemingly under-focused situation in Darfur and with the pending unrest that's in the Middle East. Also, with the sharp increase in the number of active Muslims that is reported here and there on the news from different surveys and censuses, I now see a rather clear opposition to Christianity coming up which would be one of the causes of heightened persecution. Another thing is the rise in atheism / humanism. So, considering those 'current-events' indicators, I'm starting to agree with John Meyer and others (I think several ICR people are in this group) that believe the End Times are rather close by.

What does this mean for me? Not me as in my own small life. But my prayer life and how I ask God to use me. How should I pray then? For where I'm going. I'm going into at least two more years of being a student in a heavily humanistic field. Oh, God, I know You are reaching out to the field of Academia, to Your children in the ivory towers that still look to Your throne. I pray You will keep then strong, bring more of them – students, faculty to You before humanism becomes more of a norm, before it starts to cloud Your light more. The ivory towers will come down, but You, the Word of all knowledge will prevail.

And for the medical field, I offer that same prayer. That though we come close to defying mortality, though we have internal pacemakers and virus / cancer destroying agents, we have the human condition to battle – our own selfish ambitions, our patients' sicknesses and accidents. We hide behind stone and glass walls, complex molecules, and the ever-present technology that we claim will aid us in certain cures. But I know that the medical field takes a toll on its people because we see so much suffering even through medicine's victories. I pray all of those in the medical community will reach out to God, especially as they see their patients that reach for Him as they take in the cures at hand.

I wondered briefly how these fields would be affected by the End Times, and I realize that these are the fields – Academia and Medicine that have the most strongly become humanistic, but yet, history has shown that followers of God had influenced them first. Hospitals were set up to treat those society shunned because of illness, schools were set up to teach students about the Word and God's Creation. Yet these institutions have fallen away, and I truly do believe that in all the nations / groups that praise God for eternity, He wants the remnant of the schooled, the healers that walk in His footsteps to be among those that endure to the end.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

On Mr. John the Meyer's thoughts on Worship

Even though I'm away from Summitview, I still like to get teachings off the website from time to time. Since I work some weekends, I don't get to attend church every Sunday, so getting the extra teachings help tremendously with maintaining / growing my walk in Christ (Thank You God!)

So, anyway, today I listened to John Meyer's talk on Worship. He spoke a lot about the Christian Music industry. I thought about it, and I think about how I (and others) utilize Christian music. Most of the time, we listen to it for background noise that is encouraging. That is, I listened to it while doing homework, and I listen to it on Sundays as kind of a musical Sabbath – where that is the only kind of music I voluntarily listen to. But, what is the difference when I am actually worshiping? That is, connecting to God using music as a medium through which there is mutual communication?

I'd like to think of it as a catalyst where God and I are both reacting with each other through that medium. When this happens, my thoughts are on God alone, and not on the music. When my focus is on the music, I am trying to sing along, I am going wild and crazy to impress people. Sometimes, I like to do the opposite of the crowd at The Rock worship nights: I am silent, my eyes are closed, no lights flashing, no concentrating on singing right. And then I hear God. I feel God, and I allow my heart tobe laid bare toward Him. And then I start to pray. Spirit filled prayers for my friends, His kingdom, praises for His blessings, His creation, petition for my needs, etc.

Worship comes to me when everything could be stripped away except for my soul and God. Worship came many times sitting in the science lecture halls, where I literally praised the works of His hands that were right in front of me. The molecule He spoke and shaped into existence was the tug at my heart for it to come to its Maker. Worship came when I knelt down on the floor in my bedroom listening to a Christian Radio song two days after my uncle died. I cried and I cried, but it was the same: my soul laid bare to God – yes, in praise because He was my stronghold and He would pull me through, and in prayer – of grief of which there are really no tangible words to pray, only groanings of the soul which God understands. And worship comes to me during the happiest times - upon graduation or acceptance into graduate school, or even more joyfully, when I realized a friend was now a sister in Christ, yes, worship came as well when in my heart, I danced with joy with God and mye heart cheered and laughed alonside His Spirit. Music can indeed facilitate this, but this is the essence and goal of worship.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Threshold

fromMy other blog

Today I had to take a patient from the front entrance of the hospital to the Emergency Department (ED). As I was talking to the patient just to find out how she was feeling and everything, I passed a large room (one of like 4) that is labeled "Resuscitation Room." They can hold two patients and they are huge rooms. Patients only go in there if they are in really bad shape - need lots of medications and help breathing and everything. One of them was occupied. I heard the sounds of a heart monitor. But it wasn't the normal small beeps that indicate that the patient's heart was beating. The machine was literally screaming - that little beep turned into one long blaring beep. That meant that the patient's heart was stopped. I knew that was what it was, but at the time, I was focused on the patient I was bringing in.

After dropping her off, I passed the Resuscitation Room again. This time it was quiet. When the patient was there, the curtain was drawn. But this time, there was a space where a stretcher had once stood and around it lay wrappings from syringes and other equipment. The room was still, but yet, I knew that a few moments ago, it was occupied and probably full of people trying to get this patient's heart started.

But where was the patient?
Was he or she in another part of the ED?
Or had he or she died?
Right there? In that room? Right by where I was walking with my patient?

Chills just hit me along with just this feeling of how odd it was that I was on the threshold of a room where someone may well have passed away. And they too were on the threshold. When the machine was blaring instead of rhythmically beating - when their heart was stopped instead of normally working, that patient was on the threshold between life and death. Medication and other techniques could've brought him or her back, but God had His final say ultimately.

I left the ED and my dispatcher said that I didn't need to do any more transports for the moment. So, I went to an isolated corner by our office and knelt to pray. For the patient whereever he or she was, and for the family wherever they were. And for myself, that God would calm me down so I could finish my shift. I cried right there - just me and Him. God - the Creator of all, may have taken demanded the life from one person, but yet at the next moment, comforted one of His children.

"....The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised." Job 1:21

Friday, February 02, 2007


I have had my job at the hospital for 6 months and have been out of college for nearly 9. Something I thought of for the past week is how far I've come in this time and what has changed. One thing I have had to come to grips with is that I am no longer part of the church in Ft. Collins. Though that is obvious in some respects, I've been trying to fit in and keep in touch like I was still part of my small close-knit student group. I never truly 'left' with a ceremony like the laying of hands like several other seniors, but it really wasn't all that necessary since all I was doing was moving to my home city before pursueing graduate school. But realizing that I wasn't part of the inner circle was hard to come to grips with.

But what hasn't changed is that I am connected to these people as one who has watched them grow in their faith and one who has fellowshipped with them in trials and rejoicing. They will always be in my prayers and it will be a blessing if we ever meet again (God willing.) The unity in Christ truly means that saying goodbye doesn't mean saying goodbye forever. It just means this: that I was glad to be in their walk with Christ and glad they were in mine, and now God is calling us our seperate ways.

To my friends, wherever they may be when they read this, watching you grow and change in the hand of God was truly amazing. I pray that you all will stay strong in the faith. Until we finish running the race, run hard and run rejoicing.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

An interesting parallel

So, if you all don't know, I have this other bloggy blog blog titled:Premed Clinicals which documents interesting insights I gain from working 40 hours / week at my local hospital. I've posted a TON on that... ok, not a TON, but I visit that along with my new fave website:Mescape. SO, what I realized is that if my online time is representative of what consumes me, I spend a lot of time being pre-med, thinking about pre-med stuff, and basically worrying about all things pre-med like applications and such.

I'm also going through the book of Luke (as I have been going through all the Gospels ever since.... September?) Anyway, I do spend a decent amount of time praying and thinking about God, but what really truly consumes me? Tonight I brought a very large non-premed (gasp) burden to God and I've felt quite at peace about that because I know that it is in His hands and I think I know how He might use it for His kingdom.

ANYWAY, tonight, hate to say, is a rather rare exception. Everyone at work knows me as the pre-med girl. Everyone in the hospital is starting to know this as well. I went through a phase where I was quite close to flaunting it when God humbled me... Secondly, people at the hospital know me as this innocent sheltered 'do no bad' girl. My church here in Denver talks a lot about living as aliens and strangers in this world of non-Christiandom. But my identity as a 'religious' goody-goody girl is only secondary to my identity as pre-med.

It is easier to present to everyone my pre-med side, it's harder to present the Christian side. What consumes me comes out. "From the abundance of our hearts we run our mouths." - John Reuben and Lk 6:45. God needs to consume me. In order for Him to consume me, I must love and serve Him and not the god of medicine.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Equilibrium of the Heart

I took a patient who was on the Labor and Delivery floor down to an exam twice. Both times she was nauseated, and when I took her the second time, she could barely stand, and felt even worse. She and her husband looked visibly scared. The second time down, I asked her husband how he was doing, and he told me how scared he was. I told him that I understood having a family member in the hospital with complications. As I took my patient to the exam the second time, my hands were gripping the handles of the chair so tightly, I figured my knuckles were white (that is, if I could see through my gloves). My muscles in my forearms were contracted so tight that they hurt. I was scared for them. I was upset that her labor was being complicated by something the doctor sent her down for yet another exam to try and find out what it was. Both times to and from the exams, I helped her in and out of the wheelchair. Both times I was with her when she got sick on us. Both times, I got out damp paper towels for her face.

My last transport of the day was some medicine she had to take before yet another different exam. I inwardly cringed when my dispatcher told me to do that transport because I knew from my 5 months working at the hospital what the medicine was for, and because of that, I assumed it was for my patient. Tears came to my eyes. How could she drink this medicine when she couldn't hold anything down? How could she go to yet another exam when she thought she was done when I brought her back to her room for the second time? Would the doctor finally figure out what was wrong? Just don't cry, ok? a part of my mind said. God's still in control. You just need to give this patient to Him. I was able to explain to my newest co-worker what the medicine we were getting was since he came along with me. Giving a mini lecture helped me not to cry. Yet even as I write this now, I wonder if my patient was able to take the medicine, if she went down to that final test, and how far along she was in labor. I knew that if things got any worse, she would just have a C-Section and then surgery to find and fix the other problem. But it's not what she or her husband expected, and she was in so much pain.

I told my mom who has her BSN about the case. She told me basically that the equilibrium of a healthcare worker's/ nurse's / doctor's heart is this: You feel for the patient, but you still focus to do your job. You empathize with the patient, but you must still be able to leave him or her and care for others. Yet it is still ok to cry at the end of the day. My third week at the hospital, I saw a doctor sobbing on another's shoulder. She had come out of a patient care conference, so she had done what she needed to do. But she also had to let her heart go toward that patient. She could be a good doctor and yet still cry. And I am learning that too: You can do a good job of whatever God wants you to do in medicine, and He is there for you when you pray for your patient and yes, He is there for you to just cry.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Years Resolution

October 2007 marks my fifth year being Christian. That's a while from now, but what have I learned so far in my Christian life?

1. God really did create the world.
2. God has a plan for my scholastic and other achievements.
3. God works wonders in people's lives (from watching my friends come to, grow in, and come back to Christ)
4. God's like eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!
5. It's amazing what God can say thorugh me if I memorize His word.
6. God forgives mistakes.
7. And He helps me to slowly make less and less mistakes.
8. And that takes obedience on my part.
9. But that's much easier if I love God.

Those are somewhat of the general things. The specific list would take way too long. But my New Year Resolution is simple: Love God more.

That's it. Loving God keeps me from temtation, in His Word, focused on His kingdom, etc. etc. etc.

This year off from school I asked God to train me for what He has prepared for me. Taking this job as a transportation technician at a hospital makes me curious as to wether He is preparing me to be a physician. Therefore, I have asked for His help as the Great Physician training His possible apprentice. However, I have failed to ask Him to help me love Him better. I can ask Him for the pragmatic things: career path, character growth, more understanding of doctrine and His word, but my heart shows me that I need to ask Him for Himself.

I taste and see that You are good
I hide myself within Your love
In Your presence, I lack nothing
You're all I want and You are here with me

- Taste and See worship song adapted from Psalm 34