You Never Know What You Will See

Out the front door.

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This day it was an older gentleman fighting with his goats. What I should really do is take a picture of the pack of dogs that is hanging around our front door. There are constant dog fights as this group of amorous and jealous male dogs fight over the one female in heat. Our dog population has really grown, and some of the smaller dogs are receiving the wrath of the bigger bully dogs. You can hear them yipping from blocks away. And I guess in a few months the dog population is going to grow again, but it will be a bunch of cute puppies instead of these angry mongrels.

The Beginning is Nothing Like the Middle

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I see posts on my Facebook feed from D Magazine showing crazy big expensive weddings. Our wedding was really nice. Some would say it was big, but it was nothing like what you see in D Magazine. In fact our wedding got rained out, we moved it to a church that was willing to have us on less than 24 hours notice, and we did the best we could. Allison and I picked our wedding music the day of the wedding when the string quartet showed up and told us what they could play. It was an awesome wedding, with almost all our best friends and family in attendance. And it was exciting and fun. But I will tell you that I would have had more fun and been more excited on that day if I had known how great it was going to be in the future. The beginning is nothing like the middle. The beginning is fun, but the middle is awesome. I would have had one of those crazy big expensive D Magazine weddings, or even bigger, if I had understood then how great it would be now. There would have been no price to high to celebrate being married to Allison.

(I should probably save this post for our anniversary, but I feel like today is the day for it.)

Who Do You Thank

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The Hidden World of National Parks

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

Click on the picture or link above for a cool website. I have been thinking about natural beauty recently as there has been a lot of information on our news feeds about the 100 year anniversary of the national park system. And a few nights ago as I was laying in the call room in the hospital, it dawned on me that natural beauty is evidence for a creator. This is not a new thought in the world. In fact the Bible says the same. But for some reason it was made very real and personal to me in that moment. We live in a world that is completely familiar. So why does it inspire us? Why do we respond to it? It brings atheists and believers equally to its edge where we admire it. As I lay there I wondered how does someone who does not believe in God respond to the natural beauty he sees around him.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

This question of appreciation was what I could not sort out. Whom do you thank for the gift of what you see in front of you when you are standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon? To whom do you give praise for the Grand Tetons? As a Christian, I say “Wow!” and I thank and praise God, the artist behind what I see. And I appreciate in all the fullness of knowing as much as one can about who, what, why, and how. If you do not have faith do you just say “That’s cool!” What sort of existential experience do you have without there being a mind behind it all? When I am in a national park and see the beauty, my heart and mind immediately thank God for what he is allowing me to see and for him making it. It puts a meaning behind my appreciation. And I thank God for that too. To me the appreciation of beauty is evidence of God.

Transportation

Parking lot.

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Its not as if there are no cars in Curahuasi. But most people do not have them, and they get around by walking, riding bikes, or taking motor taxis. Most of the bikes are pretty run down and many years old. The bike in the foreground above is one of the doctors bikes, and it has moved from missionary doctor to missionary doctor over the years. It looks terribly heavy to me, but I have never ridden it. Riding a bike in Curahuasi is either all thrill as you head downhill, or all suffering as you head uphill. I get plenty of exercise riding to and from work. I actually ride uphill both ways. It is a good way to drop some pounds. Sometimes I say living in Curahuasi is like going to fat camp. When I arrive here, the weight starts dropping. Between living at altitude, the change in diet, frequent bouts of diarrhea and vomiting, and increased exercise the pounds just seem to fall away. Another good reason for a C-town visit.

 

Before and After

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This old man came in telling me that he had a tumor growing for 7 months in his abdomen. Over the past 1-2 months he had started to swell in his legs. He was feeling bad, and always had a little bit of urine incontinence. When I laid him down to examine him I found this in his lower abdomen. It looked like a tumor, but it felt like a big, swollen, bladder. I quickly did an ultrasound and it was indeed the bladder. That is a big bladder in the picture above. On further evaluation the patient was found to have kidney failure and severe anemia. This is all caused by a prostate so swollen that it causes obstruction of the urethra so that a person cannot urinate. We see big prostates often, but not with this many complications. We placed a urinary catheter into the bladder and the patient was relieved of a couple liters of urine. Here is the after picture.

Oh What a Beautiful Morning . . .

This could be a west Texas or Oklahoma sky. Beautiful Curahuasi morning.

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