Monthly Family Update – April 2016

Here are the contents of this month’s newsletter:

  • Family Update
  • “Ask Dr. Walt” questions and answers
  • Will You Help Me Help a Wonderful Inner-City Church in Chicago?
  • A Wonderful Email Blessing
  • A Presidential Candidate Assessment based upon Biblical Principles
  • “Grace Prescriptions Live” Conference in Chicago
  • Join Barb and me at Spring Canyon this Summer (in the Rockies)
  • Events of the Last Month
  • Upcoming Events

1) New Home Update

We are pleased that after only five days on the market, we had a contract on our current home. We’re in the middle of inspections and negotiations, and praying the deal will close this month.

In the meantime, our new home is coming along well. The flooring is being laid, the wall painted, the cabinets being installed. And, they’ve set our move-in date for May 17-27, which means we’ll move in before June 1st.

2) Ask Dr. Walt

In my most recent Ask Dr. Walt column for Today’s Christian Living magazine (February/March 2016), I answer these questions:

  1. Is Teeth Whitening Safe?
  2. What about Chondroitin or Glucosamine for Arthritis?
  3. Do Magnetic or Copper Bracelets Help Arthritis or Anything Else?
  4. What is Healthier? Butter or Margarine?

3) Will You Help Me Help an Inner City Church in Chicago?

My dear friend, Bill Peel, DMin, and I were privileged to teach a “Grace Prescriptions Course” at the Lawndale Christian Health Center in downtown Chicago a couple of weekends ago. There we met a wonderful bi-vocational inner city pastor named James Brooks.

Pastor Brooks leads a congregation in a 100-year-old church building. However, Harmony Community Church, has a horribly leaking roof. I’m hoping and praying that MANY of my readers (including YOU) will be willing to help the church fix their roof.

Even a few dollars will help. Details here and below.

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Harmony Community Church in Chicago

This link will give you details on their need and the amount they’ve raised so far. And, don’t miss this heartbreaking video of their dilemma.

Pastor Brooks ministers to the poorest of the poor in the Lawndale community, which is routinely one of the 2 or 3 most violent neighborhoods in Chicago. But he and his church are an amazing light in a very evil environment.

If each of you could give even just a few dollars, it could make all the difference.

If you can do me favor and help Pastor Brooks and his church out by spreading the word and asking friends to donate–that would be so cool!

Thank you SO much for considering this request. There are only 30 days left to act.

4) A Wonderful Email Blessing

This arrived in my email in box, out of the blue, on the occasion of my birthday this last month:

We met a long time ago. I got a new computer and you had apparently sent me your contact information that had your birthday. My new computer is somehow set to pop up the “birthday reminders”, so I decided to send you this greetings.

I am probably not unique in that your work made a profound influence in my life helping me to decide on jumping ship from my first career (mathematics) to my second (medicine).

I had read your “Week in the Life” column (which ran in the “American Family Physician” magazine for over 10 years) and your passion and compassion inspired me in my decision.

Later, at a particularly stressful time in my residency, I became the resident adviser to the medical student section of the CMDA (Christian Medical and Dental Associations). (Sublimation is the psychological term for turning negative energy into positive and that was what I was trying to do.)

We went through the Saline Solution videos which made a big impact in the direction of my medical career. I have been on many medical mission trips. I have worked with the local Christian university to encourage careers in medicine. My wife and I have adopted three kids from China.

All these things, I wouldn’t have done if I had stayed in mathematics. I definitely give you some of the credit.

So thanks and happy birthday!

As I read this note, tears of gratitude formed in my eyes and then ran down both cheeks. You see, my belief is that those of us who are blessed to have a personal relationship with God, will be used of Him in countless ways—and, for the most part, we never know what He does or how He does it.

Oswald Chambers writes of this phenomena this way:

“He who believes in Me … out of his heart will flow …” (John 7:38).

Jesus did not say, “He who believes in Me will realize all the blessings of the fullness of God,” but, in essence, “He who believes in Me will have everything he receives escape out of him.”

Our Lord’s teaching was always anti-self-realization. His purpose is not the development of a person—His purpose is to make a person exactly like Himself, and the Son of God is characterized by self-expenditure.

If we believe in Jesus, it is not what we gain but what He pours through us that really counts. God’s purpose is not simply to make us beautiful, plump grapes, but to make us grapes so that He may squeeze the sweetness out of us.

Our spiritual life cannot be measured by success as the world measures it, but only by what God pours through us—and we cannot measure that at all.

But, I also believe, that from time to time, our Father in Heaven will reveal to us a bit of what He has accomplished through us—the fruit that He has borne.

So, he used this doctor to share that with me. It was a wonderful birthday greeting.

5) A Presidential Candidate Assessment based upon Biblical Principles

A friend, Thomas Jacobsen, with whom I worked at Focus on the Family a number of years ago, recently sent me his “2016 Presidential Candidate Biblical Assessment.” See what you think and let me know. You can find it here. Also, feel free to pass it along to others.

6) “Grace Prescriptions Live” Conference in Chicago

One of the joys of my ministry time is teaching health professionals the principles of how they can “Incorporate Spiritual Care in Their Practice.” I do this with a course called Grace Prescriptions, which I co-wrote with my dear friend, Bill Peel, DMin, the Founding Executive Director of the Center for Faith & Work at LeTourneau University.

Our most recent course was in Chicago at the amazing Lawndale Christian Health Center. It was an amazing experience and a real blessing for me to be able to teach, equip, and enable these wonderful Christian health professionals.

If you are interested, you can use the Grace Prescriptions DVD to learn how God can use you to dispense Grace Prescriptions in your practice as a health professional.

Grace Prescriptions is also available as a small-group DVD course. You can learn more about this course and order it here.

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In addition, my and Bill’s book, Workplace Grace: Becoming a Spiritual Influence at Work, is available online here.

6) Join Barb and me at Spring Canyon this Summer (in the Rockies)

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If you are married, or planning to get married, looking for a restful and rewarding CME (continuing medical education) week in the Rocky Mountains this summer, and would like to spend a week with Barb and me, then let me be the first to invite you to join us at Spring Canyon, Colorado, June 25 through July 2, 2016. You can learn more details about the event, costs, the camp, and how to register here.

7) Events of the last month

8) Upcoming Events

  • Apr 26-May 1: Barb and I will be enjoying some time in Chicago, at town we always love visiting together, while I attend an AMA RUC Meeting.

6) Past Issues of our family newsletter

You can get more information on many of our upcoming events here.

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