February 2014

So I understand that Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this month. Six more weeks of a long, record-cold, record-snowy winter. If you're in the Midwest or Northeast regions of the country (or even Atlanta this year!), this is not great news.

But I was curious-just how accurate is a groundhog when predicting weather? According to people who calculate such things, Phil is correct 39 percent of the time. Which means.more than half the time he's wrong. Surprised?

Here's one thing that you can count on 100 percent-unless the Lord returns, spring will arrive (eventually). With that spring, the beauty of new life, new growth and new blossoms of splendor. Out of the dead-appearing seeds and twigs erupt blooms of green, yellow, red, orange, lavender and so much more.

How ready are you for spring-not just physically ready, but soul ready? Are you blooming fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) despite the weather outside? Or is some "soul surgery" in order to prepare the soil? Read Allan Harmer's column in this month's Think About It section for some thoughtful introspection.

Take a look at February's important webinar and a number of great opportunities available to you as a student in CMDA. You can even win t-shirts for you and your entire CMDA campus chapter!

As you forge through the last vestiges of winter, be assured we at CMDA are praying for you. Not just that you survive these winter training years.but that you thrive in your journey to which God has called you.

May God bless you as you continue your journey,

J. Scott Ries, MD
Vice President, CMDA
National Director, Campus Ministries

Think About It: Monthly Food for Your Soul
Soul Surgery
by Allan Harmer, ThM, CMDA Midwest Director

"...Who may dwell on Your holy hill? He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, And speaks truth in his heart"
(Psalm 15:1-2, NASB).

Chief Surgeon Dr. Evan O'Neill at Kane Summit Hospital in New York City was convinced, based upon his 37 years of surgical experience, that general anesthesia was too risky. What if, when properly administered, local anesthesia could avoid the risks? But as convinced as he was and as experienced as he was, no patients would volunteer for this new procedure. This was, after all, 1921 and local anesthesia was unheard of.

Finally a patient was found who needed an appendectomy-a procedure Dr. O'Neill estimated he had performed more than 4,000 times. The patient was prepared, the local anesthesia was carefully administered and the surgery began. As was his practice, Dr. O'Neill made the incision on the right side of the abdomen, tied off the blood vessels, found the appendix, excised it and finished with a simple suture.

The patient felt almost no discomfort and was up and around that afternoon-remarkable given that in 1921 most patients with an appendectomy were kept in the hospital for six or more days. It was considered a revolutionary achievement in medicine equaled only by the identity of the patient-Dr. Evan O'Neill. He had performed the procedure on himself!

It was Chuck Swindoll, noted Bible teacher and author, who introduced me to the story of Dr. Evan O'Neill. But it was what came next that got my attention. Swindoll suggested that just as Dr. O'Neill operated on himself, we need to do the same if we are to have integrity. And there is no better scalpel than the Word of God for "soul surgery." I am reminded of what the author to the Hebrews wrote: "For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword (scalpel) . . . and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do" (Hebrews 4:12-13, NASB).

The American Heritage Dictionary (Houghton Mifflin, 1992) defines integrity as a "steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code, undivided, complete." Synonyms include the words "honesty, sincerity and incorruptibility." A Christian who is said to possess integrity is simply authentic, the real deal-one who seeks to live out God's standards whether alone or in public, and despite the temptations of expediency.

Apostle Paul included this in one of his prayers for the Philippian church. He prayed that they would excel in spiritual integrity marked by sincerity and blamelessness (Philippians 1:10). Sincerity has the idea of genuineness of character-able to stand the test of hypocrisy. Comprised of two Greek words, "sun" and "to judge," in the Greek market place to be sincere was to survive testing by sunlight.

Ancient pottery, especially fine pottery, was very thin and, while being fired in the oven, was subject to cracking. Unscrupulous merchants seeking to make a profit off of damaged pottery would often fill the cracks with wax and, when painted or glazed, the wax-filled cracks were nearly impossible to detect, except when they were held up to the sunlight where the cracks would reveal themselves as darker by contrast. Honest merchants identified their finer pottery with this sign, "sine cera" - "without wax." (Philippians: An Expositional Commentary, Zondervan, 1971, 55)

As we begin a new year and a new semester, let's do some "soul surgery." Are there some cracks-some inconsistencies in our behavior-that when held up to the light of God's Word need our attention? Interestingly it was Socrates who said, "The unexamined life is not worth living." I think what he was suggesting is that who we really are is revealed as we take the time to examine ourselves. Let's do that. Most of us coming off the holidays are in desperate need of getting back on track spiritually. Taking some time each day with the Lord is a great way to expose the cracks in our lives and allow Him to apply perspective and change.

Student & Resident Life Webinar Series

This month, join Dr. Ries as he welcomes Chip Thompson to discuss: "Is Mormonism Moving Toward Christianity?" You won't want to miss this timely topic on our CMDA Student & Resident Life Webinar Series. Be sure to register right away and join us live on Sunday, February 16!

Want free t-shirts?

How would you like to win free CMDA t-shirts for your entire CMDA campus chapter? You can.by providing the winning design for the 4th Annual CMDA T-shirt Design Contest! Grab your best graphic designer buddies and come up with an awesome t-shirt design, and you could be our winner! Deadline is March 31.

Summer Opportunites

Have you made your summer plans yet? Why not invest part of that time learning what it looks like to be a Christian healthcare professional...particularly one focused on serving their patients in Jesus' name?

Check out the updated Summer Opportunities offered by our awesome CMDA and partner ministries.

International CMDA World Congress

On July 21-26, 2014, you have the remarkable opportunity to join a group of students and residents from CMDA-USA and travel to Rotterdam, Netherlands to grow, learn and worship with medical students and doctors from around the world. This is the 50th year celebration of the International CMDA, at the World Congress Conference, which occurs only every four years.

Some partial scholarships are available, so if you are interested in attending, please send us a note at ccm@cmda.org.

Campus Ministries
A ministry of Christian Medical & Dental Associations
P.O. Box 7500 - Bristol, TN 37621
www.cmdastudents.org - ccm@cmda.org
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