Monthly Archives: January 2005


These is something about music.  It has got to connect with our brains on a special level.  It stirs emotions, soothes us, excites us.  It also seems to stay fixed in some part of our brain so that even my dad can remember the old songs and play them with amazing accuracy from memory.

I guess our family was musical.  We all played something.  At least we tried.  My efforts were just the slowest.  My sisters and brother all outshone me on the piano.  My younger two sisters both played the violin very well.  I gave up on piano when I was in grade 8.  Violin, my dad tried briefly to teach me.  Guitar was attempted when I was in university.  I think my fingers were too short or too slow, or something.  The recorder seems to be just right for me.

Today Sharon and I went to the hospital to visit dad.  This time we brought his violin.  I brought my recorder.  Sharon brought her flute.  We went down to the hospital chapel and spent about half an hour playing some of the old hymns that dad will maybe never forget.  It was so good. 


Comments Off on Music

Filed under Day to Day

Learning day

Today I learned enough about facial pain to just about put me to sleep.  The lecturer was excellent but sitting in a hotel room on my butt, listening, is conducive to sleep.  Not real sleep, but the dozing off while trying to sit upright in a chair looking alert sort of sleep.  Especially when I had to get up at 5 in order to be at the office by 6 to pick up my therapist, assistant and hygienist.  The brochure said the course started at 8:00.  Actually didn’t start till almost 9:00.

This day of continuing education is by far the best that is offered in the province.  It is put on by the dental department at the RUH and the Oral Surgery Dept.  So we get some actual teaching not just a repetition of how to make an esthetic filling more esthetic by some hotshot clinician.  We are required to accumulate continuing education points to maintain our licence.  I generally like the challenge of studying but if I have to pay for some lecture to be taught then I want it to be useful stuff that I am learning.  Today I learned some stuff that will be very useful in dealing with people that have serious problems with pain. 

We also learned something today that is disturbing.  The funding for the General Practice Residency program has been cut.  This program has two residents – their funds are gone.  I did this program myself and it taught me just about everything I needed to know to function as a dentist in the Congo and then return here to carry on my present practice.  I learned how to treat fractures, how to deal with medical emergencies, how not to be afraid to handle patients with medical conditions, how to work together with a team of medical doctors, etc.  The residents help staff the special clinics such as the cleft lip and palate clinics, the clinics for people with bleeding disorders, see and treat medically compromised patients that are difficult to treat in an office and manage adults with disabilities.  If these programs are eliminated people will have to travel out of province to get this kind of care.  It will be a big loss to our little province of few people and vast spaces.  The cost of the program is a drop in the health care budget.  Dental stuff always gets very small drops of public funds.


Comments Off on Learning day

Filed under Day to Day

Matthew 21:23-27

This morning I was reading this passage from Matthew 21: 23 – 27(NLT)

When Jesus returned to the Temple and began teaching, the leading priests and other leaders came up to him. They demanded, “By whose authority did you drive out the merchants from the Temple? Who gave you such authority?”
“I’ll tell you who gave me the authority to do these things if you answer one question,” Jesus replied. “Did John’s baptism come from heaven or was it merely human?”
They talked it over among themselves. “If we say it was from heaven, he will ask why we didn’t believe him. But if we say it was merely human, we’ll be mobbed, because the people think he was a prophet.” So they finally replied, “We don’t know.”   
And Jesus responded, “Then I won’t answer your question either.

It struck me that Jesus was saying to the Pharisees, “If you want to talk truth, OK.  But if all you are out for is to devise the best and safest answer to that question, forget it.  I know what you are really thinking and you are not fooling me.  I know you are not saying “I don’t know” because you are honestly admitting you don’t know.  You really don’t know and could not therefore comprehend the truth of who I am.”

There seems to be some thread in this whole encounter concerning speaking the truth. Jesus couldn’t tell them the truth because they would not even comprehend it. They didn’t’ really know what they were asking.  How could they deal with his answer if they were not even looking for truth – just political correctness.

Sometimes we may also be hindered from speaking the truth to others because they will not understand our answer.  They may just be looking to see if we have the politically correct answer.  If we come out with an honest answer to a loaded question will it be understood?  Maybe those questions can only be answered honestly if we know the questioner well enough to know what is on their heart.

Just musing a bit on what all this might mean.

Comments Off on Matthew 21:23-27

Filed under Devotional Reading

Daily surprises

This day was a long one.  It started out with a few of us early risers getting together up at the church – talking to God and talking to each other.  There’s a lot of stuff that has changed over the past year or so at our church.  Time of worship is just a sort of administrative change but it has sort of a symbolic sense to it.  It opened up some other more important stuff that we needed to change, I think.  Maybe not enough yet, but it has started.  We are getting to know each other better.   And care more about each other.  We have a ways to go yet but we would like to get there.  Our church’s annual meeting is coming up this weekend.  And I sort of wish I could be there but I will be away at a continuing education thing in Saskatoon. 

From there, I headed straight to the office.  It was a sedation day.  Half the kids showed up.  That is always disappointing considering the number of kids that are waiting on our list to get an appointment.  In fact for the first time in years it is taking longer to get the kids in for sedation than into the OR for a general anaesthetic. 

We had one very irate father to deal with as well.  His estranged wife sent him with the daughter but obviously had not told him a thing about what to expect.  It was the fourth time the child was in so we expected that this should be old hat for them.  His daughter was very well sedated.  She peed on him.  He did not like that at all.  He also did not like to be in the room with her ( we request that a parent be there) and just had to go out for a smoke.   I also learned a lesson  – not to take for granted that the person bringing in a child knows what to expect.

The rest of the day was very busy.  It flew by.  Then I was called to see a new baby with a cleft lip and palate, so went straight from work to the hospital.  Slipped up to see my dad while I was there.  Then home to pick up Sara for soccer and grab a sandwich.  After that off to meet with our group that is reading through Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. 

And today when I checked my e-mail, I has a neat surprise.  An e-mail from an old Congo(Zaire) friend — past short term missionary.  Hi, Seto!  He just ran across this site searching for pictures of Gemena. 

Life is busy some days.  But it is good and sometimes has these little hidden surprises that are really cool.  Like interesting conversation.  Sometimes my best theological discussions are at work.  Maybe that should be expected.  That is where a good part of my life is lived out. 

Comments Off on Daily surprises

Filed under Day to Day


Well, tomorrow the kids go back to school.  Semester break is over and they launch off on a whole new round of subjects.  We of course do not want to get ready ahead of time in our house.  So tonight, before worship practice, Sara and a friend and I headed off to the big store close to our place to buy notepaper, munchies and makeup.  I’m not sure just why a kid needs munchies to go to school.  I understand that the makeup is essential.  And the looseleaf will probably get used. 

So after practice I had to descend to the basement to collect something from the freezer.  I thought the laundry had all been done a few days ago.  I guess all but one person’s laundry got done.  Probably that young woman has nothing left to wear.  Judging from the size of the piles of laundry, she probably does have nothing clean left to wear.

Why must all things be left to the last evening?  I can’t even claim to have passed along any procrastinating genes to these two young ladies.  Maybe procrastination is a learned behaviour.  If so, I guess they don’t really stand a chance.  I am a master of leaving things until it is almost embarrassing to finally do them. 

I am trying very hard to work on this.  Maybe I will do something about it tomorrow.

Comments Off on Procrastination

Filed under Day to Day

Cooking the roast

Today was a very significant day for me.  After a struggle, a sense of calm and real happiness.

And the other reason for it being significant – well I invited my son, wife and grandson for lunch.  Yesterday, I took out this large bison roast to thaw.  This morning early I set the stove timer to start the roast while we were away at church.

Then I had another task to complete for my daughter – packaging and labelling a parcel so she could take it to the bus this morning.

When we were beginning to play the first song for the worship service I remembered.  I remembered that I forgot to actually put the roast into the oven. 

We ate a large meal rather late today.  But it was good.

Comments Off on Cooking the roast

Filed under Day to Day


Well I am not very often one to recommend a movie, but…

Leo and I just finished watching Wit.  Thanks to Becky’s recommentdation.  And many thanks too.  It was a great movie.  Not the kind that leaves you feeling all happy and euphoric but great in a seriously good sort of way.  There is a lot to learn from watching it.  It ought to be recommended to all medical students for sure.

Very heavy on Donne’s poetry.  That is good in my opinion too but some I’m sure would find it pretty heavy;  both the poetry and the silences. 

Comments Off on Wit

Filed under Books and Articles