Monday, September 29, 2008

need to update..

Hey everyone, 
So I realise I'm getting pretty bad at updating this yet again.  School has hit hard this year.  I'm in the middle of my first attachment which is psychiatry.  I'm finding it really interesting, but also hard going.  There's  a lot to learn, and well, it's also pretty hard in other ways cause I find mental illness really sad, it must be so hard to not be able to trust your mind, or to have something which no one else can understand.  There's a lot of examples of people doing really well though, and I've met some patients and former patients who have given me real hope for people, but yeah, this past week has been hard.  I'm looking forward to a more medical attachment, although I'm sure my next attachment will come with many challenges of its own, it's paediatrics.

But all in all life is going well.  I'm back going to the worlds greatest house group, so that's a good thing.  I'm constantly blown away at the depths of creativity, maturity and wisdom of the people in that group.  I start spanish lessons in a week, and hopefully this year will be able to be involved in working one on one with refugees in the southampton area through a local group called CLEAR.  That, and I'll be starting a part-time job soon (as soon as I can schedule the required training at a time when it doesn't conflict with something else I have to do).  I'm also using saturdays to study for the USMLE.   So yeah, if it seems like my life is too busy and I'm overcommitted, well, I probably am.  But it's just for a year or two more, so that's good.  

Anyway, that's a minute quick update for those of you who are wondering if I'm still keeping my head above water, I am....for the moment anyway ;)

Friday, September 19, 2008

G.K. Chesterton on our man Francis of Assisi

 “What gave him extraordinary personal power was this; that from the Pope to the beggar, from the Sultan of Syria in his pavilion to the ragged robbers crawling out of the wood, there was never a man who looked into those brown burning eyes without being absolutely certain that Francis Bernardone was really interested in him, in his own inner individual life from the cradle to the grave; that he himself was being valued and taken seriously, and not merely added to the spoils of some social policy of names in some clerical document.  He treated the whole mob of men as a mob of kings."

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Wow, it's people like this guy that give us a reason to be hopeful.  

Click HERE to watch a video about a guy that spends his days just helping people...

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Donald Miller Prays at the DNC

Well, I'm pretty slow, and although for some reason  (probably the issue of addiction in my life) I watched almost the entire "enthralling" Democratic National Convention a couple of weeks ago, I somehow missed that the great author of books like "Blue like Jazz" and "Searching for God knows What" said a prayer on stage during the convention.  I just watched it on youtube, and was saddened.  The word 'tool' comes to mind, or being 'co-opted'.  I know others will hail this as a great sign of the beginnings of the release of the strangle-hold that the Republican Party has held over the American Christian church, but why trade one master for another? Besides the fact that I don't think Christianity should allow itself to be so easily co-opted by any political party, and although I agreed with most of the prayer/speech, there was one statement in of his that truly did upset me.  He said, 

"Father, will you restore our moral standing in the world.
 A lot of people don't like us but that's because they don't know the heart of the average American."

What?!? are you serious?  Even if the average american has a humble and hospitable heart (and many do- my entire life I've been the recipient of incredible self-sacrificing generousity from literally hundreds of Americans) that's not the reason why many in the world don't like the political entity of the USA.  And this statement belittles the experiences many who have suffered at the hands of either exploitative corporations or misplaced and mismanaged military (and often the combination of the two).  I'm not the best qualified person to talk about patriotism or the 'christianity of a nation' (although Greg Boyd I hear has some good things to say about the topic), but what I do find myself agreeing with is what I read in a recent blog post by Jim Wallis, that the slogan of one of the big front runners in the presidential campaign "Country First" is not a statement followers of Christ can sign up to.  It's not an option for us.