Monday, October 18, 2010

Health Care in a Different Era

As I was sorting through a few boxes of old pictures, letters and other things, I came across an old bill from the U of A Hospital. It was remarkable to see that my Dad put down cash for the surgery and associated services. What was even more remarkable is how little it cost in those days. If I am reading this bill correctly, my Dad paid $25 up front and received change!

I believe this surgery was for a collapsed lung that my Mom suffered in 1948 when she was not quite 24 years old. I'm sure she was in the hospital longer than this bill indicates, so it may be that this invoice only deals with details of the operation.

If any of my family are reading this, I'd love to hear more about this. Regardless, I thought this bill was an interesting historical snapshot.

It's amazing the things my Mom kept.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Another Gem from Spurgeon

October 15, Morning

But who may abide the day of his coming?” Malachi 3:2

His first coming was without external pomp or show of power, and yet in truth there were few who could abide its testing might. Herod and all Jerusalem with him were stirred at the news of the wondrous birth. Those who supposed themselves to be waiting for him, showed the fallacy of their professions by rejecting him when he came. His life on earth was a winnowing fan, which tried the great heap of religious profession, and few enough could abide the process. But what will his second advent be? What sinner can endure to think of it? “He shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.” When in his humiliation he did but say to the soldiers, “I am he,” they fell backward; what will be the terror of his enemies when he shall more fully reveal himself as the “I am?” His death shook earth and darkened heaven, what shall be the dreadful splendour of that day in which as the living Saviour, he shall summon the quick and dead before him? O that the terrors of the Lord would persuade men to forsake their sins and kiss the Son lest he be angry! Though a lamb, he is yet the lion of the tribe of Judah, rending the prey in pieces; and though he breaks not the bruised reed, yet will he break his enemies with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. None of his foes shall bear up before the tempest of his wrath, or hide themselves from the sweeping hail of his indignation; but his beloved blood washed people look for his appearing with joy, and hope to abide it without fear: to them he sits as a refiner even now, and when he has tried them they shall come forth as gold. Let us search ourselves this morning and make our calling and election sure, so that the coming of the Lord may cause no dark forebodings in our mind. O for grace to cast away all hypocrisy, and to be found of him sincere and without rebuke in the day of his appearing.

From C.H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening

Saturday, October 09, 2010


Thanksgiving as a holiday may not be the most significant event on the calendar. It is a relatively recent creation and a junior holiday, if you will, compared to Christmas, Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. Having said that, giving God praise and thanks is very serious business. It is good that we have a weekend to celebrate that fact.

Several years back, it dawned on me that worship is more about receiving from God than it is giving to God. Yes, we respond, but for our worship to be pleasing to God, we must first acknowledge him as the Source, the Giver of all - even the praise comes from him.

Tomorrow morning I am jumping ahead in my Hebrews series and preaching on one verse for the occasion of Thanksgiving Sunday, Hebrews 13:15:

Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.

We offer praise and thanksgiving, and that is a pleasing sacrifice to God. Our sacrifice only qualifies if it is "through him" - our Lord Jesus Christ. It is only because we can follow him into the Most Holy Place that we may worship God at all. In this worship, we again come to God to receive from him - we need mercy and grace on an ongoing basis. God is pleased when we are dependent upon him, all the time. "O to grace how great a debtor, daily I'm constrained to be."

Let me suggest an annual Thanksgiving weekend discipline for any believer: Read and reflect upon Psalm 50. God does not need anything that we could offer Him. To believe that He does is blasphemous, but God demands our sincere thanksgiving.

The benefactor gets the glory, and our God is a jealous God. Why is God so concerned that we focus on him? Because he is GOOD, in the absolute sense - there is no greater object for our appreciation, our wonder, our praise and thanksgiving. What God requires in this praise is what is the very best thing for us as well. Eternally.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving.