“The most important things to me are my faith in God through Christ, my family, and my profession, in that order.”
My Life in Christ:
I was blessed to be born into a Christian home and grew up in a family that was active at First Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. So I was taught the Bible from my earliest memory. I professed faith in Christ and was baptized in that church at the age of about 11 years old. Unfortunately, my faith was very weak, and I did not pray regularly and I did not seriously seek to follow the Lord’s will in my actions. My love for God was so weak that it played hardly any role at all in motivating me. During college I met Susan Sturrock when she was attending Houston Baptist College and I was attending Rice University, and we married in 1970. Then we moved to San Antonio, Texas, and Susan and I began attending her home church, University Park Baptist Church. After several years, we began attending Grace Bible Church, and we liked the expository preaching and the Bible teaching there. In the 1970′s I was also involved with some friends in the Navigators ministry, and through that ministry I began to exercise my faith and I became more serious in following Christ. My friends Tom Fletcher and Mike Hubbard were a great encouragement to me. Even so, my walk with the Lord was weak and wobbly, but growing. Meanwhile, Grace Bible Church aligned with the Orthodox Presbyterian denomination, and we joined Grace Orthodox Presbyterian Church in about 1980, and have been members there ever since. I was elected an elder in 1983, and now serve as the clerk for the “session”, our board of elders. I have been given many opportunities to serve the Lord there, including teaching Sunday School to different ages of students, mostly high school or adult. Susan and I also enjoy singing in the choir, and she taught the 2-3 year-old children in Sunday School for many years. I found that I need to be reading the Bible regularly if I want to stay spiritually well. So, since about 2000, I have been using a plan recommended many years ago by Robert Murray M’Chayne that gives about 4 chapters to read per day, so that in one year I read the Old Testament once and the new testament and the Psalms twice. It is so helpful in my struggle against sin.
Susan and I find great joy in this church, because the church teaches the Bible clearly and the doctrines that are taught emphasize so well the sovereignty and power and goodness and holiness of God, and also God’s immense love in sending His only Son, our Lord, to live a perfect life and to die an unjust death for us unlovely sinners. And Jesus did it willingly. Our lostness without Christ would be total, but our great salvation in Christ is such a boon. We can rest in Christ. We love God because He loved us first. I know that the reason to follow Christ is because He is worth following, since He loved me and He only asks me to do what is right and good. He is my Lord and King, and I am privileged to spend my life doing his will as I read it in the Bible. I invite you to try our church, or another Orthodox Presbyterian Church in your area. Don’t let the name “orthodox” cause you to hesitate. The church is conservative and Bible-based.
In these times, the Christian faith is not held in such high regard as in prior times. But that fact in no way diminishes the importance of understanding the truth of reality as it is opened up in the Bible. The Bible shows the power and glory and wisdom and goodness and beauty of God. It also clearly and painfully pictures the beauty of life before man’s fall into sin, and the desperate condition of us all after that fall. We are all headed to an eternity of pain and suffering under the wrath of God, justly deserved suffering, unless we turn to Christ for salvation. His suffering and death for sinners like me pays the penalty for our sin and gives me peace with God. There is no other way to escape the wrath of God. No other way in the world. I wish for you to learn and embrace these truths and come to peace with God. There is great joy in living at peace with God, righteous and holy and loving and forgiving – great joy in walking in the good “way of the Lord”.
My parents hailed from Dyersburg, Tennessee, and our home town is Houston, where my father and stepmother still live. I have 2 younger brothers, Bill who is living in New York City and working as a sign language interpreter for the deaf (he learned that skill from Lillian Beard at First Baptist Church in Houston), and David who is living in Charlottesville Virginia with his wife and three daughters – he is a psychiatrist, and so is his wife. My mother had polio as a child, so she had one leg shorter than the other and had a slight limp. She loved music and she loved the church, and she loved us. She gave all of us piano lessons beginning at age 6. She died unexpectedly about 1971. My dad had a difficult time adjusting to her death, but after a while he met Phyllis Vaughn and married her a year or 2 later. Phyllis is near my age, and they subsequently had a daughter, my first sister, Allison, now married with children. My dad is retired and he and Phyllis enjoy their life together.
Susan and I have three grown children. We are grateful to have been spared the suffering of losing a son or daughter. Our oldest, Marshall, is married to Amy and has two beautiful daughters, Naomi and Jane. Our daughter Leah is married to Kevin Good and they have 6 children, the oldest now 19, and a granddaughter, Joslyn who is was born in the summer of 2011. Our youngest, Andrew is married to Billie and they have 4 children, the youngest born November 2005. Susan is busy helping in the lives of all these children and grandchildren, and she enjoys being of help, and she enjoys the company of her family. She is also busy helping in the lives of her dad who lives in San Antonio, and who enjoys spending time with her. I enjoy the time I can spend with him as well. Each child and grandchild brings his own special qualities that produce joy.
I finished my training as a cardiologist in 1978 and have been working as a cardiologist since then. I was fortunate to have Dr. Robert A. O’Rourke as a teacher during my training. I joined the US Army in 1979 because a military career at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) seemed to provide a lifestyle that would allow time to be at home in the evenings with a young family. Dr. Joseph P. Murgo was the chief of Cardiology then, and I learned much about hemodynamics from him. BAMC also held promise as an academic environment with teaching opportunities. The Army career later took our family to Heidelberg Germany from 1983 to 1986, now a fond memory for our family, then back to San Antonio and BAMC. In 1997 I took an opportunity to help the Army downsize and applied for an early retirement, which was approved. Since then I have been back at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, where I trained, currently working at the university and at the VA Hospital. The chief of Cardiology there is Dr. Steven Bailey, and it has been a privilege to work with/for him, and with the other members of the Cardiology division. I hope to be able to continue to work there until I retire, maybe around the year 2015, if the Lord wills. My interests are in clinical cardiology, bedside cardiology, electrocardiology, congestive heart failure, and echocardiography, and also particularly in teaching cardiology to whoever will listen.