Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hearing God

The young man had lost his job and didn't know which way to turn. So he went to see the old preacher.

Pacing about the preacher's study, the young man ranted about his problem. Finally he clenched his fist and shouted, "I've begged God to say something to help me. Tell me, Preacher, why doesn't God answer?"

The old preacher, who sat across the room, spoke something in reply -- something so hushed it was indistinguishable. The young man stepped across the room. "What did you say?" he asked.

The preacher repeated himself, but again in a tone as soft as a whisper. So the young man moved closer until he was leaning on the preacher's chair. "Sorry," he said. "I still didn't hear you."

With their heads bent together, the old preacher spoke once more. "God sometimes whispers," he said, "so we will move closer to hear Him."

This time the young man heard and he understood. We all want God's voice to thunder through the air with the answer to our problem. But God's is the still, small voice... the gentle whisper.

Perhaps there's a reason. Nothing draws human focus quite like a whisper. God's whisper means I must stop my ranting and move close to Him, until my head is bent together with His. And then, as I listen, I will find my answer. Better still, I find myself closer to God.

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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Soon to be Gone

I think today's post is such a lovely tribute to our veterans. I can say that because I didn't write it. :-)

Men and women from WWII are dying at a rapid rate. Korean and Vietnam vets are passing too. Those brave men and women who fought or assisted our troops, such as medical personnel, are seldom recognized as heroes, but they are. Without their sacrifices, we would not be the nation we have been. Yet, many of them are like my father was, silent on the subject of personal war experiences. There are many great stories that are lost daily. They need to be recorded before they are lost forever. Have you taken the time to sit down with a relative, neighbor or someone in a nursing home to listen to the personal experiences of that individual? Or to tell your own story for posterity? It's a great gift for your family.

This story is appropriately called "Soon to be Gone." It is written by by CPT. Stephen R. Ellison, M.D.

"I am a doctor specializing in the Emergency Departments of the only two military Level One-Trauma Centers, both in San Antonio, TX and they care for civilian Emergencies as well as military personnel. San Antonio has the largest military retiree population in the world living here. As a military doctor, I work long hours and the pay is less than glamorous. One tends to become jaded by the long hours, lack of sleep, food, family contact and the endless parade of human suffering passing before you. The arrival of another ambulance does not mean more pay, only more work. Most often, it is a victim from a motor vehicle crash.

"Often it is a person of dubious character who has been shot or stabbed. With our large military retiree population, it is often a nursing home patient. Even with my enlisted service and minimal combat experience in Panama, I have caught myself groaning when the ambulance brought in yet another sick, elderly person from one of the local retirement centers that cater to military retirees. I had not stopped to think of what citizens of this age group represented.

"I saw 'Saving Private Ryan.' I was touched deeply. Not so much by the carnage, but by the sacrifices of so many. I was touched most by the scene of the elderly survivor at the graveside, asking his wife if he'd been a good man. I realized that I had seen these same men and women coming through my Emergency Dept. and had not realized what magnificent sacrifices they had made. The things they did for me and everyone else that has lived on this planet since the end of that conflict are priceless.

"Situation permitting, I now try to ask my patients about their experiences. They would never bring up the subject without the inquiry. I have been privileged to an amazing array of experiences, recounted in the brief minutes allowed in an Emergency Dept. encounter. These experiences have revealed the incredible individuals I have had the honor of serving in a medical capacity, many on their last admission to the hospital."

To read the rest of the story and view the photos, click here. It's a good story.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

The Auschwitz Album

I looked at a photograph album the other day with great sadness for all the innocent victims of the Holocaust. It is the only surviving photo album from the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. These are the last photos taken of many Jews who were "exterminated" upon their arrival. This horrific time in history is now denied by many to have ever happened. Mankind does not learn from history, thus he tends to repeat it. This atrocity should not be allowed to disappear from history books. It is not a fabrication.


This Album memorializes the arrival of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz in May of 1944.

It is the only one of its kind, and it is solely due to this album that we have a visual history of what occurred in the Auschwitz-Birchenau death camp.

The album was discovered after the war by an Auschwitz survivor, Lily Jacob, who donated it to Yad Vashem in 1980.

Now, with the aid of the Internet, it can be viewed by millions of people, anywhere in the world.

Click here to view the Auschwitz Album

If you would like more information on Auschwitz, click here.