Saturday, July 26, 2014

Selfless Liberty

"Almost every contemporary proposal to bring freedom into the church is simply a proposal to bring tyranny into the world" (G.K. Chesterton)
Theoretical argument says these liberties are not sins, but God says what ever is not of faith is sin. The person who proceeds without faith is a sinner. So blind faith is not faith at all. Faith is acting on principles we understand by living our life in the fear of God. Accordingly, we should not live for ideals outside God's revealed Word. These things weigh us down, make us tired for the race.

Extra-Biblical liberties are almost always about things, more doing, more about ourselves, evenly nobly enough, about what we are accomplishing in God's kingdom. We can die for others, cast out devils, and end world hunger, but we must do these things with His heart and His permission. Any arbitrary human use of power is cruelty. People are either enchanted or disgusted by it. In either case, no one is free from serving themselves.

The kingdom of heaven flourishes when men lay their lives down. Forgiveness moved by love is the chief power of the church, the ministry of reconciliation.
"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things pass away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, Who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation" (2 Corinthians 5:17-19).
It is ludicrous to invent superior ideals for God's church. Forgiveness requires humility. Only when we see God, are we humbled. Humility does not demand liberty, rather it pursues the fulfillment of God promises. God has all glory whether or not we give it to Him. But we can share that glory. He is the glory in the church and the church finds glory in obeying her head.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

There & Back Again.

(The abridged version)

One day, not many weeks ago, we put all our things in the car (again) 

and drove to the other side of the United States (again).

A bridge in Baton Rouge. And, yes band-aids drying on the dash.
A generous two inches of water sloshing in the back seat tends to create many wet items.
And a disgruntled transmission.

Many majestic protruding buildings of Dallas.

Funky-cool conservatory-style building of Dallas

Bridge in Dallas. I thought for an horrifying moment we drove to St. Louis.

Intersection somewhere between Dallas and Amarillo.

Cadillac Ranch,
Spray paint graffiti!
Like, in the mud, on cars.

And, quite naturally, we had to sample the local brew.

mmm darkside skittles...

It's a sign! I am sure of it!

Many more miles of brush and sky and road and him and I....

THEN. A giant crack in the earth!

A GORGEous, breathtaking one.

a.k.a. The Grand Canyon

And people are actually dull-witted enough to believe the Colorado River is the master.


Then it was all over.

We drove several more hours, spent a morning apartment shopping, and unloaded all our belongings-thanks to Dad and Mom F. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


We went exploring Sunday afternoon. 
It was our anniversary and I wanted to see more of Miami. 
We drove down to the design district. No galleries were open and the streets were quiet. 

Wynwood Walls is a small graffiti park betwixt two cafes. 
It was fun to meander through the paintings and guess what the artist wanted to express. 

Most of the art was not signed so I do not know to whom credit is due.

This was hilarious.
He rolled her across the lawn whilst she squealed with delight 
and, I suspect, some measure of terror. 

We visited this swell, nerdy coffee shop, Panther Coffee. They roast their own beans in store, and have every single coffee-brewing gadget my exploding mind could imagine. Their cold brew was exceptional. My husband had a latte with real vanilla syrup. I then realized not only how pathetic is Starbuck's coffee, but how much sugar they use. I digress, but that was good coffee. You have my recommendation. 

. . .

Then we went to a gas station in Coconut Grove. We went inside this same gas station and there was a wine cellar and a superb little tapas restaurant. The doctor my husband is working with recommended it. We shared Ensalada Rusa (Russian salad), Chorizo Tentación (a Spanish chorizo, blood sausage, and botifarra dish), and Empanada de Langosta (spicy lobster).

We had a grand time. The morning worship service was great, got to witness a child dedication and all the women received roses. "Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised" (Proverbs 31:30).

Friday, May 9, 2014

At Home

The gorgeous sunset as seen from Harding Avenue, Miami Beach. 

Florida is our home now. Apparently, next month it will be Bakersfield. God's dreams are always biggest and best. He arranges the strangest detours. Usually it is for our protection, but what are the worst case scenarios? Death or famine, sickness or sorrow, temptation or distress? There really is not a worst case speculation for the one who loves God. In all these things, we are more than conquerors because He still loves! If His love is guaranteed, then my heart is at rest; any place my body may be is in the very presence of God. Oh how He loves us!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

"Irreplaceable" Synopsis

Focus on the Family's movie Irreplaceable excellently portrayed our need to fight not only for the family unit, but it being redeemed. Skewed understandings of how sex, marriage, parenting and children correlate are a pervading problem. Focus on the Family, thankfully does not focus too much on the perfect family, but the real Savior. We must esteem God's values as most precious and worth sacrifice. He gave us these human interactions as display of His nature. Want to get an idea of His love? Look at the tenderness in a mother's touch, the strength of a father's character, the commitment of marriage- love unconditional. One cannot deface a master painting without consequence. 

Creator God designed and it is beautiful. But it looks like failure: adultery and divorce, abuse and abortion stare us in the face everyday. All our relationships stink of self-interest and rebellion. The fundamental problem with ideals is executing them with our deceitful hearts that never tend toward truth. Without seeing Jesus in all our relationships, they fail. Truth must take hold of our hearts and quite literally climb down inside us and overhaul the whole system. There will always be miserable, hurtful relationships on earth, but for the one who sees God every situation is another sighting of Him. God has impossible ideals for the family; that is why He comes and does the dying and forgiving and loving for us.
See the preview here:

"Extol Him Who rides on the clouds, by His Name Yah, and rejoice before Him. A Father of the fatherless, a Defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation. God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity; but the rebellious dwell in a dry land" (Psalm 68:4-6).
So for the one who hates Christian ideals: I am sorry that we spend more energy defending positions than sacrificing and being misunderstood. We can live with your disgust and scorn, it helps us identify with Christ but know that we are His body and He feels every insult and denial of His goodness. One day you will see God and know He answers to no one and you have no rebuttal because He is perfectly good. Everything we need to know about Him is demonstrated in Christ and He is awesome.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

My Bucket List

  1. learn to play the piano
  2. read the Bible chronologically in its entirety
  3. see the sunrise over the Mediterranean
  4. attend a Piano Guys concert
  5. visit church history places in Europe
  6. sleep in a castle
  7. have some sweet kiddos
  8. OWN my faith
  9. fall madly in love
  10. go kayaking again
  11. take a traditional photography class
  12. to witness the return of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior!
  13. go sailing
  14. read the LOTR trilogy
  15. visit a spa
  16. ride an hot air balloon
  17. attend a symphony orchestra
  18. fillet a fish
  19. visit Westminster Abbey
  20. stay at a bed and breakfast
  21. sleep on the beach
  22. float in the Dead Sea
  23. visit the Eastern Hemisphere
  24. master soufflé
  25. picnic on a seaside cliff
  26. learn fresco painting
  27. learn another language (working on Spanish)
  28. take up oil painting
  29. go camping with my husband
  30. keep a proper herb garden alive
  31. enhance my math skills
  32. continue memorizing Bible chapters
  33. can salsa again
  34. smock a baby girl's dress
  35. maintain a crazy-organized desk & calendar
  36. make Beef Wellington
  37. be brave

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Ambiguity of Language

This book.

It is a fun read in a my brain-feels-like-mush sort of way. Hitchings quote to ruminate, "All of us, besides using language, comment on it, and we complain about others' usage far more than we applaud it. Where language is concerned, some are engineers, but more of us are doctors" (p11).

I have several agreements and arguments but I will take my seat as someone who has read all of 23 pages.

swev.en [swev-uh n] Noun. A vision, dream
Origin: Old English swefn, akin to Old Norse sofa to sleep, Latin somnus, Greek hypnos sleep

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Arrival and Settlement

We have 5 million neighbors now to love. Even if their driving skills are horrendous.
Any restaurants or stores we could want are five miles from our apartment. Not five minutes, mind you.

I rather like our apartment, it makes me feel spoiled in light of my expectations. It is on the second floor, has a balcony and enough space for us. Our apartment complex is reasonably quiet. There is the singing child, the indecent neighbor, and the couple with a cute curly-haired little girl who live next to us.

Exhibit A: The Content of the Car, UNLOADED 4500 miles later.

Exhibit B: Furniture. And Some Form of Order.

Exhibit C: The Second Story.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Another Love Story

Another love story of two rather common characters.

Not very long ago in a faraway land lived a girl, who, much like any other, liked dreaming of other faraway lands, finding books long enough to meet her fancy and putting inordinate amounts of cream in her coffee. One day she was intrigued by a dashing blue-eyed fellow; though she thought him to be rather nosy.

Then this particular fellow moved to The Ridiculously Humid country and stared a computer monitor, for a whole year, filling his mind with the great and wondrous facts of medicine. Let this be known to you, that while medicine was on his mind; the girl was on his heart. And if he dare forget, he was a video chat away from remembering.

He traversed land and sea to visit again and entreated the girl of life-long commitment. She was thrilled and the plan-making began. Many months later, much to their wild joy, God showed them married love.

After all the festivities and such, here we are in his parent’s basement.

I do believe this story has great potential.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Wonder of the Wait

Are we waiting on God or is God waiting on us? or with us? Waiting is frustrating. My husband and I can make plans to start his clinical rotations once a particularly wonderful individual in a scheduling office does their job. However, we are not waiting as if God is late to an appointment and He is in the way of progress. God has us in an holding pattern and I know well enough I always need more faith, more patience, more breaking my will and seeing His.  It is the Divine liberty to frustrate plans.
"God's sense of timing will confound ours... Jesus in effect says (to Jairus) 'I will not be hurried because I love you. I know what I'm doing. And if you try to impose your understanding of schedule on Me, you will struggle to feel loved by Me.'" (Timothy Keller, "King's Cross").
Daniel saw "the Ancient of days (sit down...and) thousand thousands ministered unto Him" (Daniel 7: 9-10). How do we standby and minister to God? I don't suppose He needs His slippers brought to Him. Are we truly capable of refreshing God's Spirit? Somehow, Omnipotent God lets us do Him service.

If you want something done right, do it yourself, or "One is never served so well as by oneself" (Charles-Guillaume Etienne). That is the motto of me, the impatient human. In contrast, it is the glory of God to be long-suffering with our inferior service. Because of His patience we have opportunity to wait on Him, and somehow, it glorifies Him! The greatest measure of our devotion is obedience, even and especially in waiting. We can wait near His throne, available to do whatever His heart desires. "How blessed are those who dwell in Your house! They are ever praising You. Selah" ( Psalm 84:4). Real contentment is in a life awed by God.

"'And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You.' Deliver me from all my transgressions..." (Psalm 39:7-8).

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Mercy of Suffering

Graying blue clouds blow across the sky and I inhale a steamy breath of rain, thunder and flickering light. And all I do is stand, grinning to God with rain splatting pearly wet on arms and lifted face. Grace like rain…and is it not the grace of God that rains on our parade to bring us in under the Tree of Life?

It has been said "Christ’s suffering was for propitiation and our sufferings with Him the propagation" (Joseph Tson). This suffering is deeply painful, and in this deep sorrow we feel how infinitely more must be this weight of glory in the Father! We squirm with the package of suffering, but to receive it gratefully we gasp supreme joy! And God’s faithfulness proves richest for us in the fire of suffering.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Your Neighbor

A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 
Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 
But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back’ (Luke 10:30-35, ESV).
Jesus is that Good Samaritan; the One despised and rejected of men. The one from whom we learn compassion.

I am this unfortunate man, travelling my own road. I left the city of God to seek a city cursed of God.

What did I expect? I received what I deserved. I knew there were bandits lurking around each bend, hideous grimaces in the dark. It was my folly that lead me here to die with my pride, stripped naked and penniless.

A priest, only to be busied by sacred rites, shrouds me with indignation. His cleanliness-conscious brother, the Levite also quickly steps by my obscene figure in his lane of travel. The law offered only justice, no life. But wherein the law was weak, thanks be to Jesus!

He came to where I was, saw me, and had compassion. Compassion enough to bind the wounds and pour the wine of the wrath of God, on Himself!

Truly He ever “binds up the brokenhearted (Isaiah 61:1, KJV)”! He paid the uttermost farthing. He poured the oil for my healing and for my lamp because He will come back!

So this loving your neighbor, hasn’t Christ lived the life? To love GOD entirely requires a tireless effort to not only cease from our own works, but entirely abandon blasphemous acts of self-manufactured fruit.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Return of the Bloggers

Husband and I are working on this merging of lives. Both of us had barely alive blogs that contained a handful of posts. We let them die their woeful deaths and, well, we have returned to bore you even further! HA!

The Chronicles of our Medical School Journey. And be forewarned: both of us are apt to rabbit-trailing. You may find more information than you really want. Or less, depending how nosy you are.

I rather enjoy living my life and am a bit uncomfortable with people's noses all over the windows, literally or metaphorically. However, I love contemplating nonsensical questions and delicious food. We do plan to keep any interested parties updated on school information: where to send care packages and such!