Finding Beauty at the 2017 National Medical/Dental Association’s Annual Meeting

In almost 30 years of being a doctor’s wife (plus seven while he was in training),I’ve been with my husband to countless meetings, but last week I actually had the joy of being a participant! For the first time in forever, we attended the NMDA’s annual national meeting in Ridgecrest, North Carolina. I loved everything about it! Ridgecrest is a beautiful Christian conference center (like Maranatha here in southeast Michigan) nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Black Mountain, North Carolina. Although—I have to admit—the schedule (7 am-9pm) was grueling, the speakers were outstanding, not only medically but spiritually…some brilliant, some extremely wise, and some just plain funny (but also wise). There were constant opportunities to connect (Midwest Regional Meeting), and get to know people (like Dr. Jim Hines, who’s planning to run for governor of Michigan in our next election; I’m very likely to vote for him!). There were many options for break out sessions on topics that interested me: human trafficking (by a female M.D. married to a police officer in Vermont),  moral ethics, legal issues, philosophy, and Christian education (in addition to more specifically medical issues). One of the really inspirational aspects was hearing about the doctors who received various awards for outstanding medical research and service. I learned many, many practical lessons from the lecturesand left with my heart and brain stimulated and enriched. I’d like to encourage anyone in the medical field
(not only doctors but dentists, P.A. and N.P’s, nurses, optometrists, etc.)
to think about attending the CMDA conference in 2018.

On the other hand, if you’re in some other profession, I’d like to encourage you to look into the possibility of a conference geared for Christians in whatever field you’re in. And, if you can’t find something…maybe you could start something! Finally, let me end by sharing one of the most provocative thoughts I heard, which came from Thomas Aquinas 800 years ago. His question to us is this: Is it possible that our battle wounds will somehow become glorious and beautiful? In heaven, will that which we perceive of as beautiful be virtue and character, not outward appearance? I love that! Wow!! Feeling ugly or deformed here on earth? I believe the day is coming when our spirits will shine out, and the measure of our beauty will be the radiance of Christ within us. Want to be beautiful? I do!

“Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me
All His wonderful passion and purity
Oh, Thou Spirit divine, all my nature refine
Till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.”
(~Albert Orsborn/Tom M. Jones)

But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day” (Proverbs 4:18).

And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever” (Daniel 12:3).

(All photos from last week in North Carolina during the 2017 CMDA conference.)

That’s a Mighty Big Mac

Mackinac Bridge at DuskDid you know that the Mackinac Bridge, Great Expanse of Mackinac Bridge which connects Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas, Great Span of the Mighty Mackinac Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the entire western hemisphere? On Ferry to Mackinac Bridge I remember ferrying across the straits before the bridge was built, Evening at Mackinac Bridge but I’ve also been crossing that bridge since I was a little girl, Wild Roses and Mackinac Bridge and I fear that all too often I take it for granted! 42,000 Miles of Wire used on Mackinac Bridge 42,000 miles of wire were used in constructing the Mighty Mac Mackinac Bridge af Dusk…that’s almost enough to go entirely around the world twice! Long expanse of Mackinac Bridge Since it opened in 1957, over 150 million people have crossed. 200' Drop from Mackinac Bridge The bridge is 5 miles long and has a 200′ drop from the middle Freighter Passing Under Mackinac Bridge into water that’s 250′ deep. Rough Crossing from island. Mackinac Bridge In a bad wind, the Mackinac Bridge can shift as much as 35′ from its center. Rough Weather at Mackinac Bridge If that doesn’t inspire a little awe in you, what about this? Boats and the Mackinac Bridge The last time we visited (two weeks ago, on August 2, 2015),Rainy Day Mackinac Bridgea freak wind blew up, toppling a camper and trailer on the bridge. Mackinac Bridge in Clouds Thankfully, no one was hurt, but it reminded me of the time back in September of 1989 when a young woman driving a Yugo was literally blown off the bridge. Vast Expanse of the Big MacWe lived in Marquette (in the Upper Peninsula) at the time of that tragic event, Wildflowers on Mackinac Island and I recorded my thoughts in a letter to my parents Clear Waters of Mackinac Island. Bridge in background (which I’ve included at the end if you’re interested in reading about it). Mackinac Bridge at Dusk 2 Did you know that 5 people died building the bridge, but since its completion, Mackinac Bridge in Distance from Mackinac Island 5 babies have been born on the bridge: 3 in ambulances and 2 in taxis? Misty Mackinac Bridge The man who told me this said he was an angel. I’m sure he’s not, although I researched what he told me about the 5 deaths + births and believe he’s correct. Sun shining under Mackinac Bridge His name was Dan, and his theory was that God was giving the 5 people who died another chance at life. Yarrow and Mackinac Bridge Lovely thought, but after researching that one… I don’t believe he’s correct, at least not concerning reincarnation. Gernaniums in foreground of Mackinac BridgeHowever, I do believe that—like the Mighty Mac—many of us take God for granted and don’t stand in awe of his greatness as we should. Mackinac Bridge from Air *God is even more mighty and awe-inspiring than anything on earth,
and he is giving each of us “another chance at life” every day we’re alive. Sunset Behind Mackinac Bridge He’s calling us to Himself, not for reincarnation,
but for rebirth with the promise of resurrection after we die. Big Mac Bridge with lilacs in foreground Would you like that? It’s all free for the asking. Just ask! Night shot of Mackinac Bridge“It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”
(Hebrews 9:27).

“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).

“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:25).

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12).

Freighter passing under Mackinac Bridge copy “A couple of weeks ago we went camping to Traverse City [in the Lower Peninsula]. While Alan attended the ACP (American College of Physician) meetings there, the kids and I snooped around, visiting Interlocken and the local zoo, playing miniature golf, watching windsurfers fly across the bay under a rainbowed sky, chasing ducks and seagulls. It was 80° the first couple of days, and Lake Huron was warmer than Lake Superior ever gets, so the kids swam constantly. Then the aftermath of Hurricane Hugo blew through and my fingers froze just washing up the silverware. The wind grew so fierce we feared the camper would collapse in the night, and we blew home a day early, crossing the Mackinac Bridge with some trepidation, soberly observing the police cars and skid marks where a car had been literally blown off the bridge the previous day (never happened before). We arrived home as the sun set in a blood red sky over a red glass Deer Lake.”

(*The aerial view is a photograph I took 2 weeks ago of a photograph at the Grand Hotel.)