Practicing Gratitude

Gratitude is one of the keys to a happy life, but it must be practiced. Right teaching, self-sacrifice, and hardship in life often contribute to building gratitude.

For most of my medical career, I have cared for military members, past and present. Many were impressive. One patient in Schweinfurt, Germany in the late 1990s had climbed Point Du Hoc with the 2nd Ranger Battalion on D-Day. Other patients flew bombing raids over Japan in campaigns led by Hap Arnold and Curtis LeMay. Several fought with MacArthur in Korea. And of course, many had seen combat in Vietnam, Iraq, or Afghanistan.

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Whence Identity?

A Christian view on how and where we find and build our identity. 

“To be a Turk is to be a Muslim” our Turkish tour guide announced during our tour of the Seven Churches in Revelation. I asked him why he believed that, and he replied that since Allah made him a Turk, clearly Allah intended for him to be a Muslim. Both his logic and his history were faulty. While the descendants of the Seljuk and Ottoman Turks are overwhelmingly Muslim, the modern descendants of the Khazar Turks are largely Jewish. Present-day Gagauz and Chuvash Turks are predominantly Christian.

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The Good, the Bad, and the Complacent

Every society includes the good, the bad, and the complacent. Isaiah shows us what to be, and how. 

A small, fractious, religiously dominated country was paying tribute to a rich empire with an advanced military. In a fit of hubris, the oppressed people stopped sending their wagonloads of gold, hoping that a neighboring nation would come to their aid. The empire mobilized its forces and defeated the weak intervening armies of the neighboring nation. It then turned its greedy eyes and vengeful hands on the rebels.

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