Dr. David Levy’s Intermed Sessions

In case you missed it, here are Dr. David Levy’s talks, and Q & A sessions, given at Renewal Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, PA on March 9-10, 2012.

To access the relevant session:

1 – click on the link below, which will take you its stored location on Google documents;

2 – click “file”, then “download” (see bottom of drop-down list)

3 – either click “open with” your default media player (i.e., Windows Media Player) to listen now, or, “save file” to download so you can store/listen to the file on your computer/MP3 player later.

Friday night’s talk on addressing spiritual concerns and forgiving others

Friday night Q & A

Saturday morning’s talk on joy and handling disappointment with God/others

Saturday morning Q & A

Many thanks to Chris Chong for recording these sessions.  Enjoy!

Three ‘Nights’ And Intermed Just Around The Corner!

Doubt Night

“So, when can we do it again?!”

That’s the response we received after holding our first Doubt Night at PCOM, one of our area’s medical campuses.

You may be wondering, though, what Doubt Night is all about.  (First, credit to liberti Church for giving me the idea some years ago).  In short, Doubt Night is a time where seekers and others with questions about the Christian faith can come and dialogue honestly with Christians about their concerns.  To facilitate this, I took part in a panel that also featured Dr. Keith Herzog and two PCOM students.  Throughout a 1.5 hour discussion, we heard questions dealing with:

  • heaven – is it real?  Is it right to be moral because we want to go there, or, should we act rightly because it’s inherently appropriate?
  • the apparent contrast between God in the Old and New Testaments – why does ‘the God of the NT’ seem more gracious and loving?
  • the trustworthiness of the bible – Christians put so much faith in the Bible, but what makes it more special or reliable than any other book?

Of the 15 who came, I’d say it was about a 50/50 ratio of seekers:Christians, which is what we were hoping for.  We look forward to continuing the conversation on campus, and, in future Doubt Nights!

Men’s & Women’s Nights

Later that week, we also hosted Women’s and Men’s Nights at our home on consecutive evenings.  Sharon led nineteen women in tackling the sensitive area of sexuality and how to live for Christ in a confusing, sexually-charged culture.  The best part about the night was that it provided a safe place to deal with the questions everyone has, but is afraid to ask.  We need to speak to topics like this!

For our men’s night, nine men joined me for an exploration of the topic of why men are so passive, and, what we can do about it.  We took a look at our culture’s portrayal of men, then surveyed key bible passages that help us ‘diagnose and treat’ not only the symptoms, but the underlying causes as well.

Both nights were greatly aided by Sharon’s baking, especially the flourless mocha cake and Ghirardelli brownies!

Prayer Needed for Intermed This Weekend

This Friday night and Saturday morning, MCO and CMDA are hosting Intermed, our annual gathering of local healthcare students and professionals for worship, fellowship and teaching.  But this is not our usual Intermed.  God has allowed us to invite Dr. David Levy, neurosurgeon and author of Gray Matter, to be our speaker.  Based in San Diego, Dr. Levy is going to speak to us at Intermed, but also at other medical campuses throughout his week in our area (March 8-15).

On Friday evening, he’ll show us what it means to talk about Christ with the people around us, as well as challenge us on what it looks like to let go of anger we harbor toward God and others.  More than just raw information, though, Dr. Levy has dealt with these topics very personally in his own life and medical practice.  As we minister to students and professionals, we’re excited about offering them one portrait of who we hope they’ll become.

As you can imagine, we very much need your prayers for Dr. Levy’s visit:

  • for protection from the evil one.  Already we’ve seen evidence of spiritual resistance, and need God to protect us.
  • for the Spirit’s power as Dr. Levy speaks.  His messages will be powerful, but lasting change only happens through Christ’s work in our hearts.
  • that weary people would come away not only changed, but refreshed!
  • for God to put together “divine appointments” for Dr. Levy in between speaking engagements.  He very much wants to minister to those who need what God wants to do through him.  Pray also for me and others as we interact with students at these events; I expect that God will be giving us similar opportunities in response to his work through Dr. Levy.  We want to be His instruments of healing and change here in the city!
  • pray for all the last-minute details that need to come together.  This leads me to praise God for our entire planning team (a collaboration of students, MCO & CMDA) for all the amazing hard work they’ve done to make this week a reality!

Thank you, dear friends, for standing so faithfully with us!

Bryan & Sharon

 

Healthcare Toolbox: Declaration of Forgiveness

It’s time to open again our Healthcare Toolbox, which contains practical tools for following Christ in our daily practice of medicine.  With a little adaptation, I think you’ll find that these tools have a far broader application, too.

Today’s tool is the Declaration of Forgiveness, which I came across while reading “Gray Matter” by neurosurgeon Dr. David Levy.  The book chronicles his journey from being an agnostic to gradually incorporating faith into his practice, and the amazing results he’s experienced.

By way of background, when Dr. Levy senses that a patient is troubled, or, that his/her complications are inexplicable based upon medical considerations alone, he tries to explore other, non-medical causes.  Since our spiritual and physical health impact one another greatly, dealing with these non-medical factors is part of providing excellent clinical care.

After explaining this connection, and clearly asking if they would like to talk about these things, a provider can ask if there are people they need to forgive.  If there are, the provider can help them talk to God about it right there.  He/she can walk them through significant wrongs that were committed against them, releasing the offender for each one, remembering that God alone is Judge.

After that process, Dr. Levy mentions that troubled relationships are usually a two-way street, and gives his patients a chance to confess their own failings and be forgiven by God.

Sometimes his patients’ symptoms are healed, other times they improve, while sometimes no discernible change takes place.  But in nearly every case, his patients experience new hope, improved relationships, and a desire to connect/reconnect with God.  It’s simply part of the bigger picture in providing whole-person care.

Obviously, as a neurosurgeon, Dr. Levy’s situation may be different than your own.  No doubt, there are particular obstacles that need to be faced, and overcome, wherever you find yourself.  But coming alongside patients and helping them set aside bitterness may be a key part of their treatment, and the Declaration of Forgiveness is one practical way to help.