Monthly Archives: January 2013

Mr. Wise Man

As the sun was setting I made my way to the ninth floor of the hospital. I was not part of the medical team taking care of this patient but rather on a Senior year elective known as: Whole Person Care. The assignment was simple: interview a patient regarding his or her stay in the hospital. Then, after the interview, try to write down the interview verbatim. I had no idea how much this one patient interaction would impact me for the rest of my life.

I found Mr. Wise Man sitting up in his bed watching the evening news.  He motioned me over to his bed and turned down the television. He agreed to the interview and was happy to impart some words of wisdom. Mr. Wise Man began to tell me his life story. He grew up in this city and in fact was born at this hospital. He gave me a brief history lesson on how he had seen this university hospital and the surrounding area grow over the past 50 years, which he had witnessed. With the exception of a few years of service to our country in the U.S. Army, Mr. Wise Man has lived his entire life within 5 miles from this hospital bed.

Mr. Wise Man then began to tell me the painful story of how he ended up on the ninth floor of this hospital. He had always been an active person, exercising, and trying to eat balanced meals. Then all of a sudden, one day (just about two months before our interaction) he began to have intense abdominal pain and severe constipation. The pain was so excruciating that he felt a visit to the emergency room was warranted.

After a number of emergency room visits and follow up appointments with his primary care physician, he received the news that his white blood cells were “through the roof” and in fact his physician had never seen a number so high. Mr. Wise Man was referred to this hospital for further work-up and treatment options. Mr. Wise Man recounted the shock of receiving the diagnosis of cancer and the painful experience of having gone through the first round of chemotherapy with some tears in his eyes.

Despite all this pain and suffering, Mr. Wise Man felt God had spared his life. He is a man of prayer and great faith in God. Now all Mr. Wise Man wanted to do was spend time with his loved ones at home.

Here are some of Mr. Wise Man’s words of wisdom that I will always remember:

Life is short. Live like everyday is your last. Why waste your day frowning? Smile!

If there is something that you’d like to do, why not go ahead and do it?

Remember that tomorrow is not guaranteed. God has given you today, which is the same 24 hours that everyone else got. Use these hours wisely.

Most importantly, spend some quiet time with Jesus everyday and get to know him through prayer and reading the Holy Bible.

“And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

Revelation 21:3-4

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Spiritual Heritage

Today I am reflecting on my spiritual heritage. I grew up in a home where my mother taught me about the Bible. I had children’s books on the stories in the Bible. In fact there’s a set of ten blue books which are in my living room that contain just about all the stories from Genesis to Revelation in my native tongue, Spanish. It is from the nightly reading of these books that I learned to read in Spanish but also learned about the God in the Holy Bible.

Lessons from this book: Heartwarming stories of Adventist Pioneers by Norma J. Collins [By the way I would recommend this book to any one wanting to learn more about the men and women of the Second Advent Movement. Another book I’d recommend is: Pioneer Stories of the Second Advent Message by Arthur Spaulding. ]

Heman S. Gurney was a singing blacksmith who was a man of prayer and actually witnessed prayers of healing being answered.

Joseph Bates was nearly hung in the South during one of his preaching tours.

Annie Smith was a poet, editor, and artist.

James White, went on a preaching tour with a horse borrowed from his father.

William Miller (the pioneer I find many similarities with) had a passion for reading and as a young child would stay up late at night reading near the fire (I at times would curl up in bed with a flashlight so I could read in bed all night). Miller at one point was a deist due to being influenced by reading works from Ethan Allen, Voltaire, David Hume, Thomas Paine. It was through studying his Bible even far into the night that he came to know the living and active God. He is known for ‘discovering’ the 2300 day prophecy.

Here’s are some of Miller’s words:

I saw the Bible did bring to view just such a Savior as I needed, and I was perplexed to find out how an uninspired book should develop principles so perfectly adapted to the wants of a fallen world. I was constrained [forced!] to admit that the Scriptures must be a revelation from God. They became my delight and in Jesus I found a Friend

In studying history one can gain much more understanding of the present. This is one reason I chose to spend some quiet hours learning about the men and women who were active in the 1800s and had a desire for truth. They found truth in the Bible.
During my undergraduate years I came to a point in my life that I asked the question: what is truth? Have I been brainwashed to think a certain way? I was drawn to study out various religions of the world and was drawn towards the Bible. I came to accept the religion that I had grown up with as my own. I chose to attend church because I now had a deeper understanding of communal worship and what it means to belong to Christ’s “bride” (His church). I am still on a pusuit for truth. I don’t believe this quest will end anytime soon. I have chosen the yardstick for truth to be the Holy Scriptures.

This really made me think:

It wasn’t easy for these men and women [pioneers] to turn aside from teachings they’d adhered to all their lives, but truth is truth, and they followed it intelligently and willingly Heartwarming stories of Adventist Pioneers by Norma J. Collins

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I Heart WordPress!

Why do I heart WordPress? It’s because it is so user-friendly! I am not the most tech-savvy person yet with some patience I was able to figure out how to combine other blogs into this current blog. So today was another day filled with some rest and relaxation.

In the recent past, Sundays for me have meant full study days with attempts to catch up on the house chores (primarily the growing mountain of laundry) and running errands and stocking  up on necessary edibles. Medical textbooks and class notes were the number two thing to do after morning devotion and getting myself ready to tackle the ever-growing to-do list of the day.

Today was different. It was a Sunday but it’s a new year (2013) and I am currently recovering from many things. I honestly can say that medical school and all the surrounding life stressors were getting the best of me and I became overwhelmed that I actually got physically sick. I forgot how to live a temperate life that my body said “Stop everything now” <insert seizures and 9 day hospitalization here>. There was a point in my life during medical school that I was exercising, trying to eat healthily, sleeping and studying. It is when I lost this balance that I ended up in the hospital. This article describes a little of what that balance with sleep looks like.

http://www.lifeandhealth.org/sleep-schedules-and-sanity.html

So back to the present. Today  I woke up when my body needed to wake up and ate breakfast by slowly chewing and not attending to my cellphone (I have been trying for the past couple of days to eat without my cellphone and meals taste better!) and took a nice long relaxing shower. I then set out to figure out how to combine my blogs. In reading through my recent past I was reminded of how blessed I am and that God has not forsaken me. I was also reminded of this quotation:

In reviewing our past history, having traveled over every step of advance to our present standing, I can say, Praise God! As I see that God has wrought, I am filled with astonishment, and with confidence in Christ as leader. We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His Teaching in our past history

Christian Experience and Teachings of Ellen G. White p.204

Now back to more rest and relaxation! 🙂

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Sabbath Flowers

Today is Sabbath (See Genesis Chapters 1&2, Exodus chapter 20). I just received a delivery of flowers to brighten my day. These flowers not only remind me of the beautiful surrounding nature that God created but they remind me that I am still healing. I spent the very first Sabbath of this year (Jan 5th) in the hospital as a patient. I remember the nurses calling to me that I had a special delivery. I went to the nurses station and saw a HUGE bouquet of tropical lush flowers. I think I might have even exclaimed, “These look like they are from the Garden of Eden!” The next question I asked was, “Who are they from?” I wanted to know who to thank but the nurses said they couldn’t find the card. So I thanked my Heavenly Father because He is the one who created all heaven and earth and sea and filled those spaces (heaven, earth, and sea) with good things to be enjoyed by me, His daughter. One of the nurses later found the card for my flowers and I found out they were from my cousins.
The following Sabbath (Jan 12th) I was blessed to have been discharged from the hospital two days before (Jan 10th) and had the opportunity to attend church. Since. I was a visitor I was blessed to take home a poinsettia as a gift. I hope to plant it here at home. The poinsettia in order to change colors and flower require darkness. The poinsettia can have no light during that period of night time. I ended up in the hospital because I was working too hard and stressing myself out and was lacking sleep. I have to get my sleep in order to function well. I, like the poinsettia need to get “hours of uninterrupted darkness” or sleep in order to brighten up the day with beautiful colors. Of note, the poinsettia in Spanish is called “Noche buena” a reference to Christmas Eve. Literally translated it means “good night”. Yes I’m learning how to get the adequate sleep that I need so that I can function.
Last Sabbath (Jan 19th) I was blessed to give one of my friends flowers. She is a wonderful friend and I wanted to share with flowers so earlier in the week I searched for the perfect bouquet that had many purple flowers. I like purple as well so when I saw a purple bouquet of flowers at a local farmer’s market I knew that was the one for her. I know that my favorite flowers are yellow & white but I am also a fan of tiger lilies!
Today as I mentioned earlier I received yet another surprise of flowers! These flowers are from my aunt! They are so beautiful and of course I asked “who could they be from?” Luckily the little card was there and it mentioned that my aunt’s church is praying for me. I am a walking answer to prayer. I am so blessed to have a loving God and family as well as one that prays. As I already mentioned I am reminded that I am still healing. The road to recovery looks like its going to be a long one but I know that I can trust in God to walk beside me and at times carry me until I am restored.

Earlier this week (the day i went to get my MRI done) I was encouraged by

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

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