What A Difference A Father Makes

Father and SonIt’s not hard to find the statistics. A child who grows up without an involved father has a much higher chance of being poor, having health problems, being incarcerated, abusing drugs and alcohol, becoming involved in teen sex, having less education, and much more.

We just passed Father’s Day. Many of you celebrated the memory or presence of a father who passed on a godly heritage, important values, and a readiness to take life on. Others of you were not celebrating:  your earthly father was either absent, uninvolved, or abusive. One thing we all agree on – a father makes a difference!

I asked a large group of people, both men and women, this question: “What do you think is the most important thing a father can do for his children?” I was amazed at the large number of people who responded. And the answers fell clearly into two categories. A father should:

  1. Be a reflection of our Heavenly Father to his children.
  2. Spend time with his children.

Perhaps one reason so many people mentioned the time issue is because

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“Are We Playing God?”

Sad Over InfertIt was a relatively common, simple medical procedure designed to help her get pregnant. Although it was somewhat uncomfortable for her, I was not prepared for Sarah to begin crying as soon as we were done. But I soon realized her tears had nothing to do with her physical discomfort.

“Are we doing the right thing?”, she asked while wiping her eyes. “Is this meant to be?”  Sarah was wrestling with whether her inability to get pregnant was God’s message to her that He did not want her to have a baby. And she was concerned that taking medical steps to help her conceive might be stepping into an arena that would displease Him.

At heart-stopping moments like this I step out of my doctor roll and address the matters of the heart. It’s one more area where our spiritual lives and our physical lives impact each other greatly. One can’t ignore the deep places in our souls that such issues touch.

I told Sarah that ultimately any decision

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6 Fruitless Ways to Prove Your Worth

Watch Around MoneyWe want to feel important in some way. We want to know we have made a difference, that our existence has been more than an accident. Once our basic needs for food and shelter are met, we put a large part of our energy into whatever makes us feel worthwhile.

But is all that effort worth it? (No pun intended)

We try to find our worth in so many ways:

  • Physical attributes. A young woman (or older woman) maximizes and uses her beauty. A man tests and displays his strength or other physical ability.
  • Intellectual ability.
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Why Patients Care About My Faith

Praying HandsIn just the past couple weeks I have been almost surprised by how many patients of mine have asked to talk about matters of faith. As a doctor I am privileged to touch people’s lives at very vulnerable times, and it’s at those times where faith makes a significant difference.

Here are a few vignettes:

  • A woman facing challenging hormonal problems says, “I looked at your online profile, and I’m glad you’re a minister also. I want to be able to talk about those things too.”
  • A couple facing long-term infertility wrestling with whether God would look kindly on their use of fertility treatment, or whether they should accept childlessness as God’s will for them.
  • A patient needing an urgent C-section says, “We prayed that the doctor who would deliver our baby would be a believer too. You are an answer to prayer.”
  • A woman who is newly pregnant, feeling guilty about her previous abortion and wondering whether God would punish her by not allowing this pregnancy to continue.

What is it these patients are looking for from me? Why do they bring up spiritual matters? What do they need?

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Interruptions ARE Your Job

Girl Holding Out PhoneLook for the interruptions: they are your job security!

If you work with people in any capacity, expect to be interrupted. The only people who are not interrupted are hermits and prison inmates. You and I should be thankful for interruptions.

That’s not always an easy concept to understand. You want to be productive. Interruptions break your train of thought, and your train of activity. Wouldn’t it be easier if “they” just stayed away?!

But think of these situations where interruptions are the whole reason your “job” exists:

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