Sunday, May 27, 2012

Pentecost: And I believe in the Holy Ghost

The Holy Ghost, then, always existed, and exists, and always will exist. He neither had a beginning, nor will He have an end; but He was everlastingly ranged with and numbered with the Father and the Son. For it was not ever fitting that either the Son should be wanting to the Father, or the Spirit to the Son. For then Deity would be shorn of Its Glory in its greatest respect, for It would seem to have arrived at the consummation of perfection as if by an afterthought. Therefore He was ever being partaken, but not partaking; perfecting, not being perfected; sanctifying, not being sanctified; deifying, not being deified; Himself ever the same with Himself, and with Those with Whom He is ranged; invisible, eternal, incomprehensible, unchangeable, without quality, without quantity, without form, impalpable, self-moving, eternally moving, with free-will, self-powerful, All-powerful (even though all that is of the Spirit is referable to the First Cause, just as is all that is of the Only-begotten); Life and Lifegiver; Light and Lightgiver; absolute Good, and Spring of Goodness; the Right, the Princely Spirit; the Lord, the Sender, the Separator; Builder of His own Temple; leading, working as He wills; distributing His own Gifts; the Spirit of Adoption, of Truth, of Wisdom, of Understanding, of Knowledge, of Godliness, of Counsel, of Fear (which are ascribed to Him) by Whom the Father is known and the Son is glorified; and by Whom alone He is known; one class, one service, worship, power, perfection, sanctification. Why make a long discourse of it? All that the Father hath the Son hath also, except the being Unbegotten; and all that the Son hath the Spirit hath also, except the Generation. And these two matters do not divide the Substance, as I understand it, but rather are divisions within the Substance.
-Gregory of Nazianzus, On Pentecost (Oration XLI)

Friday, May 18, 2012

And I believe in one Catholic and Apostolic Church

For anyone who checks this blog still, you've probably noticed that there hasn't been much activity here. I've not felt much inspiration to write lately and, to be honest, have been struggling spiritually. And while I do struggle I trust in God's grace and power in Christ to keep me.

I recently had a few encouraging experiences in the past week though so figured I'd blog about them.

The first happened on an extremely stressful and busy day when I was admitting patients from the ER to the hospital. I went down to evaluate a guy with new-onset atrial flutter, an abnormal heart rhythm. When I got to the bedside I noticed that his elderly Korean wife seemed excited to see me. She called me by my name and talked to me as if I should recognize her. I didn't recognize her at first but she successfully jogged my memory by saying "you prayed for me in clinic." I then remembered that I had prayed for her during a clinic visit about 6 months earlier. She told me she had prayed for me every day since that visit! I was amazed. I love Kingdom economics. Before the visit was over she took me aside and told me she was awaiting the return of Jesus Christ. Just hearing His name was so encouraging in the midst of a day when everything seemed out of control and I didn't feel I had the strength to make it through.

A few days later I headed home to Battle Ground to have dinner at my girlfriend's house with some of her family and with a Christian doctor from India who is also a pastor and missionary there. Over dinner we discussed the persecution that Christians face there. He told of how fellow pastors have been poisoned to death by Hindu extremists because of their faith. This man of God faced the same persecution but you could see his joy in Christ. It was encouraging to see how all that he did in terms of the medicine he practices in India is motivated by a desire to spread the gospel.

Lastly, I was paged to talk with the family of a patient I'm taking care of who has terminal metastatic colon cancer. The nurse told me that this man's pastor was in the room and wished to speak with the doctor. I went to the room and the patient gave me permission to talk about his case with his pastor. This patient is a Japanese man with a Korean wife and their pastor is an African American. We went to another room and I had a somewhat difficult conversation with the pastor and the patient's wife. At the end of the conversation I asked if we could pray for the patient. Both of their eyes lit up and they clasped my hands. We prayed for my patient. It was pretty powerful.

So in the midst of much struggle the Lord has encouraged me and reminded my of His goodness and faithfulness in spite of all my sin. Thanks be to God!