like the stars

Shine like the stars of the universe as you hold out the Word of Life. 

There is a strange power, conviction and humility about this phrase (adapted from Phil 2:15-16).

Stars are beautiful things. Nomads used them to find their way through plains and deserts of nothingness, ships to navigate through the rough seas, and city people who see more street lights than stars everyday to appreciate the greatness of Creation, and the vastness of the universe.

When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?
You have made them a little lower than the angels
   and crowned them with glory and honor.

~ Psalm 8: 3-5

And to be a star, was not about being able to stand out of the crowd. but rather be one; just one of the many beautiful stars in the sky. to guide the ships and nomads. to remind people of the beauty of the universe. for it is not us that is important. It is the Word of Life, the wonderful Truth that is both Righteous and Merciful that the stars are a channel to. To the One both condemns and saves.

Don’t know. Anyway I just like this phrase a lot lah full stop.

Went for my first BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) class just a few days ago.

2013-09-30 23.42.39I first heard of BSF through my mom’s friend back in Malaysia, and later another close Hong Kong friend of mine Tina asked me about the same bible study group and so I thought it was about time for me to answer my nagging conscience to find out more.

Tina and I went for the welcoming session. apparently it consists of year-long study of a single book/theme, with a total of 9 different themes aka you will finish the whole BSF courses if you join them for 9 consecutive years. This year will be on the book of Matthew.

Apparently they only accepted a limited number of group members (due to limited number of group leaders? idk) at a time so they asked us to pray for God’s right timing. I heard that some people even waited up to a year before they got called to join and so I thought my chances were slim. If they called me next year, I probably couldn’t commit as it would overlap with some of my time working as a house officer (and I bet I won’t even have time to sleep moreover attend classes)

But anyway my group leader called me on Saturday night (lessons every Mon night) and told me I could join them.

Initially I was really excited but later got stressed when I found out about the workload. We would have homework every day (eg answering questions based on specific parts of the Bible/scriptures) and some questions were not that straightforward. and there were notes to read as well. so yeah very very the chur (hk slang for heavy workload)

But honestly! I have only been to one class so far but I guess what amazes me the most is the conviction I see among the young adults who attend BSF. Some are working, some still studying but all of them were so committed. And their love and hunger for God encourages me. As for the lesson materials, it digs deep into the characters of the Bible, the background in which it was written, etc etc. To me, it’s not superficial godtalk. It’s serious yet humble investigation of the Truth.

So I guess it all boils down to proper time management. If I stop facebooking and instagramming and youtubing I will have far more time to study. (but cannot stop blogging lah. it’s therapeutic! read here about what cs lewis thinks about writing)

so i was thinking about fasting from these things. got the idea from Wai Jia’s blog, you can read it here. and hope it doesnt stay at the contemplation stage but moves on to the action stage. God give me the strength to do it ushhhhhh!

But anyway. BSF is HIGHLY recommended! Good training for commitment in studying His words and dying to unfruitful habits! haha

If you’re interested to find out more about BSF or wish to join BSF at your locality (it’s international), click here.

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liberation

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. ~ Matthew 6:14-15

Today’s sermon was about forgiving. Forgiving people who have hurt us, may it be intentionally or unintentionally. out of anger, uncontrolled emotions, rash words or immature decisions. 

I pondered on my past. when i wondered whether i had truly forgiven. and then the pastor takes a passage from the book of Luke, a conversation between Jesus and God, as He was hung on the cross, moments before His death.

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” ~ Luke 23:34

And then i realised that when i was thinking of all the trivialities of my life, Jesus comes along and forgives me when I don’t even know that I have sinned against Him. And He forgives countless souls that are willing to come to Him.

And somewhere nearing the end of the sermon, the pastor offered extra insight to this verse:

Forgive, and you will be forgiven ~ Luke 6:37

The Hebrew translation for “forgive” in this passage is “release”.  

Release, and you will be released.

Hmm this sounds so liberating. =) 

All My Shame

A frame so beautifully formed 
Brought to life by God’s on breath
Crafted from the planet’s dust
God’s own image carved in flesh
 
But not one righteousness remains
Perfection lost and beauty stained
Far from the safety of God’s side
Innocence traded for a lie
 
Chorus
All my shame, all I’ve failed to be
Nailed upon a cross and left at Calvary
 
Verse 2
A world of fabulous design
Yet scarred with misery and pain
But underneath this brokeness
Our Maker’s signature remains
 
And only Your redeeming love
Can pay the debt we can’t afford
Salavation worked by Your own hand
Your broken workmanship restored
 
Ref: Gen 1:27, Col 2:13-14

the plank

our surgery bedside teaching today was a patient with cancer of the ascending colon.

the patient was a relatively old lady who complained of right lower quadrant pain for two months and anaemic symptoms for 2 years (with no cause found) before she presented to the emergency department a few days ago.

looking back at her history, she already consulted another hospital 2 years back for her anaemia, in which OGD (upper GI tract endoscopy) and colonoscopy was performed with no significant findings, except finding of a small polyp which histology came back later to confirm that it was benign.

the surgical department later referred her to GOPC (general out patient clinic aka family medicine) for follow up her anaemia which did not resolve and remained at a inexplicably low level (around 8g/dL?)

all her past case notes mentioned the low Hb with the comment of ?poor oral intake.

it was during this admission that colonoscopy was repeated, and also a CT scan with contrast was performed. and they found a tumour in the ascending colon, with no locoregional spread and a curative operation was feasible.

As we were taking the patient’s history, all of us got very skeptical as to how a tumour could develop so rapidly in two years that would be totally undetected through colonoscopy, with the anaemic symptoms persisting from the polyp finding up till now.

and honestly, i was being skeptical of what the first hospital did two years ago. Did they miss the diagnosis? missed out some investigations? didn’t take a thorough history from the patient and shrugged off the anaemia as a dietary cause?

During the discussion with our tutor, he mentioned that the colonoscopy performed might not be a “full” one and so the tumour went undetected, or no one could really find the underlying cause and so the patient was referred from surgery to family medicine and then back again.

but at any rate, the patient’s condition underwent thorough investigation and now wasn’t the time to point fingers at anyone for their assumed negligence/incompetency to diagnose the problem throughout the time frame of two years.  and also thank God that the patient’s condition is still curable at this stage although it is a relatively late presentation.

At the end of it, he said, “it’s good of you guys to learn something besides your bookwork. and i have learned something today too.”

i guess for me, not being judgmental is something I have to learn. it was too easy to put the blame on the other hospital for their seemingly incomplete workup, but this would not help the patient any more than create more stress and anger for her and her family to deal with, besides worrying about her upcoming operation. and not to mention lawsuits for the doctors/hospital involved.

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? ~ Matthew 7:3-4

It would do better to serve as a reminder for me, something that we learned earlier on in pre-clinical years…

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gaan gui

gaan gui / 艰巨 / churr = physically & mentally draining

Medicine is a craaaazy block. Or maybe I’m putting too much pressure on myself, I don’t know. Anyway the workload is crazy and we learn so much in a day. Which is pretty exhilarating although gaan gui! The joy of being able to correctly interpret the pathology in an ECG is just indescribable (but i’m more often only partially correct xd)

Been physically exhausted lately too, having to wake up in the wee hours of morning (6.15am to be exact!), clerk cases in wards from 7am tilll 8.30am when I will have a one hr whole class lecture and then off to other tutorials/teaching clinics. and the studying goes on after classes. @@

Oh well they are closing wards for 1 week for year 4 & 5 exams so I can sort of take a rest for a while and concentrate on revising (untouched!!) lecture notes. But honestly the things we learn now are really interesting and requires much more critical thinking and regurgitation compared to year 1 and 2, which is challenging but I believe as it is said in the Bible “We can do ANYTHING through Christ who gives us strength – Philippians 4:13” I know relying on God will make it possible!!!

:’)

Amanda's birthday celebration with Japanese Hotpot!!! yumss

Amanda’s birthday celebration with Japanese Hotpot!!! yumss

2013-02-17 00.24.21

Suat Hoon visiting HK!!! Great to meet up with you my dear ❤

Okay gotta go back to study. Oh by the way a nice song that I am currently listening to that really gives me strength =)

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. ~Matthew 7:7-8

Lord please give me strength in times of struggles and pain. With you by my side, i know i face nothing alone. ❤

neoplastic conditions

it’s weird how there is this trend of labelling our doctors-cum-tutors for our bedside teachings as “benign” or “malignant” (but then again medical students are generally weird xd) depending on whether or not they make life difficult for us. anyway we had a “malignant” tutor for our paediatrics respiratory system bedside just a few days ago and here’s an account of how it went.

So basically before the bedside teaching, our group of 10 were to watch a video on performing respiratory examination on paediatrics and then the tutor would come and bring us to the wards to perform PE on the patients. Honestly i really wanted to pee halfway through the video but i didn’t dare go lest he suddenly appear (so i actually held my bladder for almost 3 hours haha). anyway he appeared later and the moment the video ended, he was like “ok. let’s go!”. which kind of caught us unprepared and we literally ran after him while fumbling to put on our white coats.

and then we were at the paediatrics ward. 14 year old male with pectus carinatum (indicating chronic respiratory problem) and also mild finger clubbing. the doc asked if anyone wanted to do PE but everyone obviously avoided eye contact and he randomly picked a guy from our group. and that basically sealed his fate of being the only student being drilled for ANYTHING he did/did not do/say for his general and also respiratory examination. we would get scolding if we tried to help the poor guy with answering any of the questions. the doc was also extremely particular about hand hygiene (eg wash again if we pushed our glasses up or flicked our hair away with our hands)

But at the end of the day we realised he was an awesome doctor. He revealed that he often acted mad/bitchy just to make sure the message sunk in to whichever student he taught (and he’s actually quite a funny person and treats patients really really well!! ^^) We couldn’t help our friends becase he wanted that particular student to really think and get answers through logical deduction, instead of the usual round-the-table answering methods  that would actually diffuse the responsibility each felt as a bedside “participant”. As for the hand hygiene part, it is actually for doctors own good and (especially) for immunocompromised patients.

so this kind of misconception of “tumour subtypes” of our tutors somewhat bothers me; because to me he is far from the definition of malignant. all i can see is a dedication. to patients, to students and to medicine. and aren’t these what constitutes a good doctor?

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

~ Matthew 7:1-3

Thank God for opening my eyes and teaching me new things every day. :’)