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Showing posts from June, 2014

The Great Option

After discussing the dangers of medical missions at work today, a friend asked, "Why not just stay here?" My immediate reaction was: "because they need help". Perhaps they do, but God could help them without us. He is, after all, GOD. The real answer should be: "because Scripture commands us to preach the Gospel to all nations. If we end up preaching to the sick or hungry, first we should bind their wounds and fill their bellies. But we must go. Despite popular opinion, the Great Commission has not become the Great Option."

A Christian Physician's Stream of Consciousness on Pop Culture Naturopathy

The first time I tried essential oil therapy, I woke up with sleep paralysis. This had never happened to me before,  and has not happened since. However,  I would never base my opinion on a single negative experience -- even mine (n=1). My main hesitations towards amber beads and essential oils are scientific, philosophical, and theological.    First, there are few prospective, human trials on the effectiveness of essential oils for treating specific maladies.  Most of the human studies I read are small or methodologically flawed. One challenge in human trials of oils is the inability to blind people to receiving or not receiving an oil (unless it is ingested), since the oils have obvious odors. Since placebo effect is known to be as high as 30%, inability to have a comparable comparison group presents a serious problem to interpretation of effectiveness. Additionally, most studies I found do not describe clear chemical mechanisms (beyond "anti-inflammatory" or "

Better than I've Been to my own Self.

An elderly gentleman at a church I attended as a teenager would regularly stand up during testimony time and say, "The Lord's been good to me.  Better than I've been to my own self."  Tonight, I understood what he meant in a new way.  Per usual, our nighttime routine ended with about 15 rounds of the song, "God is so Good".  Only this time, after I put Josiah down in his crib, he continued singing.  Hmm-hmm-hmmmmmm. Hmm-hmm-hmmmmmm. Hmm-hmm-hmmmmmm. Hmm-hmm-hmmmmmm. Over and over, he hummed rhythm for "is so Good".  I sat down to listen.  He looked at me around the slats of the crib, reached through, and grabbed my hand.  All the while, he continued singing.  Such a sweet, impromptu worship service to our good God.  I stayed for a while, reflecting on God's goodness.  I hope my little man continues to sing that same anthem every night of his life, from now through eternity.  Eventually, I sneaked out the door.  I could still hear him singing as

The Cost of a Life

$420 can buy half a year of cable television. Or a fancy family photo shoot. Or a round trip ticket from Buffalo, NY to Little Rock, AR. $420 can purchase froyo dates twice each month for a year. Or two tickets to a Seahawks game (eight tickets to a Bills game). Or a coffee at Tim Horton's twice a week for a year. Or a new ipad. $420 can buy 10 cheap, 2 hour dates (including babysitting). Or half a year of monthly mani/pedi salon visits. Or one day's admission for a family of four to the Happiest Place on Earth. Or a year of school supplies, medical care, and food for an impoverished child.   $420 is the difference between life and death for many children in the developing world.  Yet we, as Americans, waste that amount on all sorts of absurdities.  Worse, we have a long list of justifications and "don't judge me" attitudes that prevent us from re-evaluating our daily decisions. We defend our right to diversion.  To entertainment.  To self- and fam

First Time I've Written More Than A Paragraph In Months

I was asked the following question on a Facebook thread:   Why do you think about your faith, religious conviction, or whatever term you like, differently than you think about anything else, science in particular, especially when your religious beliefs supersede if not dictate what you will and will not accept from scientific inquiry? I am genuinely interested in your answer. The following is my response: Okay, Tom -- because you asked  :) First,  you bring up a good point.  Critical analysis is important in any area of belief (I do use the word  belief interchangeably for science and faith, but realize some people do not -- as referenced in my previous comment).  Appropriate means of analysis is dictated by qualities inherent in a field of study.  For example, public health literature relies heavily on observational data, while clinical medicine most strongly emphasizes randomized trials (I am sure you know this, but I provide this illustration as a lead in to my argument).  Is