Sunday, 9 January 2011

The gong sounds and the dance goes on...

Another few months have passed, once again many things have happened in close succession, with the time for big decisions rapidly approaching. Two weeks consisting of exams to test six years of work, the announcement of where I will be working next year, the decision of what direction I'll be going in, and a relocation to Germany all await me... Good thing I've got a loving saviour with a good track record, he who can be eternally relied upon, the ultimate giver and sustainer! Reading the Psalms this year has been a fabulous reminder of this :-)

Quick recap on 2010:
  • Jan to April - Many clinics and medical departments in Salford (west Manchester)
  • April/May - Ash cloud cancelled my placement in Germany. Wrote an essay on limb amputations instead...
  • May-July - Mega-research project relating to kidney medicine (abstract hopefully submitted next month - woop!)
  • August - Rearranged ash-cloud medical placement in Dresden, Germany, this time without the essay requirement (doppel-woop!)
  • September - Clinic with an awesome Christian doctor in lovely Budapest, living with some German PhD students, and making weekend excursions to explore Budapest, Wien/Vienna, Pecs and Kiev. Also the chance to do the saline solution course with some really encouraging Russian/Ukrainian doctors and medical students.
  • October - Placement in surgery (Salford hospital), great insight into what a job on the wards will be like next year... potentially manic!
  • November - Working at a GP practice in Wigan. Thems very nice pies they make in Wigan.
  • December - Anaesthetics/Intensive care in Bolton. Was a really great placement, would love the chance to work in this field post-qualification.

The year to come...
  • January - Final exams, find out where I will be working (Preston, Stockport or Oldham), trip to Greece, relocate to Homburg, Germany.
  • February to May - Praktikum in Homburg, Saarland. Rotations will include skin/STI, heart, intensive/emergency and digestive medicine [Derm/GUM, Cardio, ITU/A+E, GI]. Good church sighted through a fantastic 'God-incidence'
  • May - Return to Manchester to tie up last part of medical degree.

  • Summer - A return trip to eastern Europe/Russia in a Christian medical context? (Am open to suggestions!)

Wishing you a really blessed 2011, treasuring all that God has done for you in his son!

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Another month, another exciting city!

This month, I have been mostly living in....

The magnificent hungarian capital - Budapest!

The city is one of splendour and faded grandeour... The people are friendly but the language impenetrable (I'm finding this most frustrating). I've honed up my bakery skills however - the pastries here are pretty good! Magyar pekseg woop!

As with Germany there have also been many challenges, with much being learnt about Hungary, about people, about medicine, and about myself, in addition to the many ways I need to be growing in my relationship with God. Many strange and unforeseeable 'coincidences' have happened over the past three weeks, God has been incredibly gracious in putting my in touch with a huge range of people, both Christian and not, very few of which I knew previously. I've really been shown the potential for further work in this part of the world at a later period. I am realising ever more how much of an undeserved blessing this time has been, and that I can simply only come to him in thanks.

He really is the one deserving of praise.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

New Website

Exciting new website for the home church :-) click here to see!

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Wise words from J Piper

Wise words from Mr J Piper (once again!).

Christ died to make us 'zealous for good works'. Zeal means passion. Christ did not die to make good works merely possible or to produce a half-hearted pursuit. He died to produce in us a passion for good deeds. Christian purity is not the mere avoidance of evil, but the pursuit of good

Taken from Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die, number 36.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Core Values

After chatting with a Christian mission organisation called Pioneers, they asked my to read their core values and put them into my own words. The first of these, Passion for God, is included beneath. As always, I look forward to your thoughts.

Passion for God

Passion for God is a very good thing, however it's something I wish I had more visibly more often! Often with me there's a break somewhere between the head and the heart. As is always the case, the answer comes from repeatedly reminding the sinful person within exactly who God is and what he has done.

God is Lord. He reminded the Israelites repeatedly of this in the wilderness. We should not follow anything or anyone else. Remembering that he is creator and sustainer of everything, as well as the definition of what is good and just, helps to create right attitude of reverence and fear that he truly deserves (Exodus 20). This is someone not to want to get on the wrong side of, and not someone to belittle or treat with too little regard. As Narnia puts it, he’s a friendly lion, but not a tame lion.

God is Love. In being three in one, God is relational and defines pure love. Furthermore, God wants a relationship with us to the extent that he revealed himself personally to us in his son, limiting himself to a man, being rejected, despised and hated, and ultimately undeservedly dying for those who deserved to die (Romans 5:6-8, Isaiah 52-53).

God has a plan. Tying the above together, God will unite all things under one head, Christ. This salvation plan has been in place since the beginning, and makes sense of all things. There is a glorious end in sight, and shows us just how good and important it is to live for Christ in all aspects of our lives. Christ died to present us pure to our heavenly father, and we are right before God only because of his actions (Ephesians).

God is fantastically powerful, unfathomably loving, and has a plan for the world. There are myriad reasons to be passionate about serving our Father, including those of fearful respect, knowing his righteousness, heartfelt gratitude at his rescue, and knowledge that his plan is rightfully and unstoppably coming to completion. However being a sinful man I recognise that I let myself be dulled by the chimes of the world far to often. Thus, the importance of immersing in scripture, fellowship, building one another up in Christ, prayer, and living for God, should never be underestimated!!! Only with God at the foundation will true passion for his plan happen.

Amongst other things, I'm hoping to read a chapter each day of Piper's - '50 reasons why Jesus came to die' each day. There's definitely enough time each morning for this (they're very short!), even if it end up being on the tram!!! Why not check it out - it's free to download and has helped me a lot in the past.

Romans 5:6-8

6You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

It's gotta be...

There are few cities where:

you can start jogging in the party district,
run between two huge fountains,
head down a floodlit parade,
be greeted by fireworks,
cross a cobblestone bridge,
enter a world heritage city centre,
passing by an opera singer and accompanist,
through to a Starbucks and McDonald's,
racing a tram along the streets,
stopping to admire the river,
watch an open air theatre slowly become flooded,
chat to other tourists in a mutual second language,
and return via some glorious eastern-block architecture!

It's gotta be...