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Friday, August 6, 2010

Doctor of the Heart

I have been reading Doctor of the Heart by Isadore Rosenfeld. Dr. Rosenfeld appears weekly on Fox New Network’s “Sunday Housecall” and answers questions on a wide variety of medical topics with clarity and humor.

When I first heard Dr. Rosenfeld, I detected what I thought was a slight Canadian accent. I was right. Although his parents emigrated from Europe, they settled in Montreal, where the widely acclaimed cardiologist grew up and studied medicine at McGill University. His career has spanned six decades in which he has treated famous celebrities as well as non-celebrities and traveled internationally. He has received numerous awards and is an attending physician and the Ida and Rossi Distinguished Professor of Clinical Medicine at the New York Presbyterian/Weil Cornell Medical Center.

In spite of Dr. Rosenfeld’s professional stature, I learned from his book that we have a few things in common. His parents were from Europe (Russia). My parents, too, were from Europe (Scotland), and so was I. He grew up poor in Canada, and so did I. As an adult, he moved to the United States, and so did I. He occasionally visited relatives in Terre Haute, Indiana. I served as a pastor there before moving to Colorado. His father died of a heart attack in Canada, and so did mine. He has written books, and so have I, although I am sure the sales numbers are far from similar.

Dr. Rosenfeld is an acclaimed doctor of the heart; I am not. However, in my writing and preaching I try to minister to the heart. Just as a strong, healthy heart is essential to good physical health, so a healthy spiritual heart is essential to a joyful life that honors God and blesses others. Of course, even the most gifted doctor of the heart cannot do what Jesus, the Great Physician, can do—give people a new heart and eternal life.

Aren’t you glad you know Jesus, the preeminent “Doctor of the Heart”?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Do You Fit In?

How well does that old dress fit you? You know, the one you wore on your honeymoon. Or, if you are a man, how well does that suit fit you that’s been hanging in the closet for the past ten years?

A little snug in places?

Not to worry; it’s out of style anyhow, isn’t it?

Do you sometimes feel like an old dress or an old suit? Does it seem like you just don’t fit the times or fit in with the younger crowd? When your kids and grandkids talk about updating Windows, do you think they plan to replace the house windows? Do you think modern music resembles a steamroller crushing a thousand metal trashcans? Do you wonder when restaurant servers stopped saying “ma’am” and “sir” and started calling customers “guys”?
And what happened to plain old cup of coffee? It tasted fine, didn’t it, when it was simply called a cup of coffee? Why did somebody have to make ordering coffee so complicated? It must be that giving coffee fancy names justifies the exorbitant price. Who would have thought twenty years ago that so many people would pay about $3 for a cup of coffee and stand in line to order it?

How can a grandparent possibly fit in with coffee shop yuppies that order something like a Cappuccino or a Frappuccino or a Caramel Machiato or a Mint Mocha Chip Frappuccino or Mocha Valencia? Why do they give coffee names that sound like Mafia figures? I feel like a fossil when I ask for a cup of regular coffee.

If you are like me, sometimes it’s hard to fit in, but we are still around to meet the challenges of modern life. Fortunately, if we belong to God’s family, we always fit in with Him. He is our best friend and confidant in every challenging situation. Change may swirl around us, but God remains the same—reliable, purposeful, loving, merciful, and invincible.
That old dress or suit may not fit us any longer, but our relationship with our heavenly Father can be a perfect fit today and always.

—Written by Jim Dyet. Adapted from 40 Days to Your Best Life by Joe Ragont and Jim Dyet, © 2006, Honor Books, Colorado Springs, Colorado