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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye and Good Riddance

Goodbye, oh nine. I will not miss you.


I suppose it is appropriate that I should feel so glum on the last day of the year. Needless to say, oh nine will not go down as one of my favorite years of my life.

I haven't made any resolutions yet for the incoming year. I haven't had enough time to think. Or maybe I have had too much time to think and my wound-up thoughts haven't slowed down long enough for me to organize them. Either way, no resolutions.

But if I had to come up with three off the top of my head, I think they would be the following:

1) Figure out how to get rid of the tired ache that has been behind my eyes for the past ten months.
2) Learn how to exhale in such a way that the fog in my mind leaves my body with my breath.
3) Lose 10 pounds from my heart so it stops feeling so heavy in my chest.

(sigh)

I'm tired.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go put on my good mood and get ready for a party.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Lyric(s) of the Week

He will give to all the faithful His own self for heavenly food.
-Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

Come Thou long-expected Jesus born to set Thy people free.
From our fears and sins release us; let us find our rest in Thee.
-Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus

The hopes and fears of all the years are met in Thee tonight.
-O Little Town of Bethlehem

Pleased as man with man to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel
-Hark the Herald Angels Sing

O come Thou Rod of Jesse, free Thine own from Satan's tyranny.
From depths of hell Thy people save and give them victory o'er the grave.
-O Come, O Come Emmanuel

His law is love and His gospel is peace.
-O Holy Night

He comes to make his blessings flow far as the curse is found.
-Joy to the World

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Pomplamoose

I love these guys.



I love her voice. I love their creativity. I love their freaky good musicality. I love their innovative instrument choices and combinations. I love their videos. I love how much they seem to enjoy what they do. I love their sound.

And I love that they occasionally whip out the accordion.

WARNING: ABRUPT SUBJECT CHANGE

What are you doing for the holidays? Coby and I will be braving our way through a blizzard in an effort to get me to the hospital so that I can care for those who are too sick to be home with their families for Christmas (and Christmas Eve). As much as I reeeeeeeeeeeeeally want to be home with my own family, I won't mind too much as long as I avoid thinking about what my family members are doing at any given moment. I'll make the trek home on Saturday morning and spend the rest of the weekend with them. I wrapped presents tonight and I got really, really excited to give them all away!!!!!

Merry Christmas!




Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Lyric of the Week

I never took the time

to stop and realize
that death takes many forms
even while alive.

-Goodbye by Plankeye

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Proposal

My non-demented, 92-year-old patient: Are you married?
Me: Nope.
Pt: Do you want to be married?
Me: Yeah, I do.
Pt: Well....will you marry me?
Me (chuckling): I don't know, John*. You might be a little old for me.
Pt: Well, I thought that might be a problem, but it never hurts to ask. It's just such a shame for a girl as nice and as pretty as you to not be married.
Me: Thank you, John. That's very sweet, but we really need to get back to these admission questions. Have you had any unplanned weight loss in the last 6 months, any loss of appetite over the last week, any difficulty swallowing....
(Completes admission questions and proceeds to walk over to the bedside to program the IV pump. John reaches for my wrist with both of his hands and gives a gentle pull).
Me: John, whaddya doin'?
Pt: Whaddya think I'm doin'?!? Gettin' you in bed with me!!
Me (pulls hand away firmly and states matter-of-factly): Well that is not going to happen. And that is NOT very sweet.
(John proceeds to give my arm a weak-yet-persistent tug any time I come within arm's length for the rest of my shift.)

Note to self: Beware of the proposers. They may be sweet, but they may also be creepy.


Sometimes I forget that most people don't have conversations like this during a typical workday.

*Name has been changed.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Assured

A smattering of thoughts in response to yesterday's lyrical question. Please forgive the lack of organization. I have been pondering these things more than anything else as of late and this is merely an honest representation of how randomly my brain has been firing.


*****

I John 3:20: "For whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything."

Our hearts may condemn us, but our hearts do not hold final judgment over us. Our hearts are still subject to self-deception and doubt. God is greater than our hearts. He gets the final say, not us.


*****


John 6:44-45: "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the Prophets, 'And they will all be taught by God.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me"


How does he teach us? 1) Sends his Son, 2) Through the Word
Objection: But not everyone who sees/reads these things, comes.
Answer: Learning is not merely hearing. We need to be God-taught. "They will all be taught by God." God writes these things on the heart. Jer 31:33: "But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people."


*****


John 6:37: "All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out."

God's drawing is infallibly effective. Those who are drawn are omnipotently secure.


****


Conclusion from John 6:37 and 44-45:
Those who are drawn are taught by God. Those who are taught, come. Those who come are never cast out.

I have come. I came because I was God-taught.
He saved me.
My coming is the evidence that I have been drawn and, therefore, I will never be cast out.


*****


The ups-and-downs of your faith and/or emotional state are not ins-and-outs of Jesus. Those who are drawn, come. Those who come are kept.


*****


"No mere creature has direct access to God's eternal counsel, so to seek assurance through knowledge of election is to be dashed against the rocks like a shipwrecked mariner. How does the doctrine of election contribute to assurance? Calvin preached: 'How do we know that God has elected us before the creation of the world? By believing in Jesus Christ....Whosoever then believes is thereby assured that God has worked in him, and faith is, as it were, the duplicate copy that God gives us of the original of our adoption. God has his eternal counsel, and he always reserves to himself the chief and original record of which he gives us a copy by faith.' Election is always 'in Christ' (Eph 1:4), so the distinguishing mark of the elect is their union with Christ in faith....On this basis, true believers can and should look to the future without anxiety, knowing that their faith in Christ testifies to their eternal election." -John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine & Doxology, edited by Burk Parsons


Exercising faith leads to assurance. Feeling assured is not a prerequisite for faith.
You don't "figure out" if you are elect and then make a faith decision based on that. The very act of faith is the evidence that you were elected before the foundation of the world.
Faith = Horse.
Assurance = Cart.


*****


The feeling of assurance improves the quality of life for the believer.
The mere feeling of assurance has no effect on final judgment.
Maintaining your assurance (accurately or falsely) doesn't change the final outcome but does effect your day-to-day approach to life.
An ever-present sense of your assurance is nice, but not necessary.


*****


When the saved walk in sin, they feel unassured (and rightly so).


"That some Christians fall into doubt regarding the state of their souls is not always a bad thing. Their failure to believe and trust in the certainty of their salvation is not a failure of faith on their part but a merciful gift from God. 'For so hath God contrived and constituted things, in his dispensations towards his own people, that when their love decays, and the exercises of it fail, or become weak, fear should arise; for then they need it to restrain them from sin, and to excite 'em to care for the good of their souls, and so to stir them up to watchfulness and diligence in religion. But God hath so ordered that when love rises, and is in vigorous exercise, then fear should vanish, and be driven away.'" -Signs of the Spirit: An Interpretation of Jonathan Edwards' Religious Affections by Sam Storms (emphasis mine)


A false lack of assurance may be a gift from God to the believer walking in sin.


Those who feel falsely assured through self-deception may go on believing they are saved despite there being no evidence that they have encountered Jesus. "[Hypocrites], (at least some of them), will maintain their boldness in their hope, [despite] the most corrupt frames and wicked ways, which is a sure evidence of their delusion." Signs of the Spirit by Sam Storms.


*****

Monday, December 7, 2009

Lyric of the Week

Am I lost or just less found?

-C.S. Lewis Song by Brooke Fraser

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Advent Summons

Come forth from the holy place,

Sweet Child,
Come from the quiet dark
Where virginal heartbeats
Tick your moments.

Come away from the red music
Of Mary's veins.
Come out from the Tower of David
Sweet Child,
From the House of Gold.

Leave your lily-cloister,
Leave your holy mansion,
Quit your covenant ark.
O Child, be born!

Be born, sweet Child,
In our unholy hearts.

Come to our trembling,
Helpless Child.
Come to our littleness,
Little Child,
Be born unto us
Who have kept the faltering vigil.
Be given, be born,
Be ours again.

Come forth from your holy haven,
Come away from your perfect shrine,
Come to our wind-racked souls
From the flawless tent,
Sweet Child.

Be born, little Child,
In our unholy hearts.

-Mother Mary Francis, P.C.C.

Friday, December 4, 2009

It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas

I love my Christmas tree!!!








Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Lyric of the Week

To see the law by Christ fulfilled

And hear his pardoning voice

Changes the slave into a child

And duty into choice.


-Love Constraining to Obedience by William Cowper