“We’ll Grow Old Together!” (Psalms 71:17-18)

My wife enjoys a warm hug from me. During our embraces, she often looks me in the eye and says, “Promise me we’ll grow old together?”

I nod and chuckle, “We are!”

Our passage of time can easily be followed by our Christmas photo cards, sent to family and friends since 2000. In our bedroom, there are wedding portrait photos of a young couple always watching over us. That young couple never imagined the day when we would be an older couple. We were young, no children, our careers were beginning. Now we are a family and, in a few years, empty nesters!

O God, from my youth you have taught me,  and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.

Psalms 71:17-18 (ESV)

I am thankful to be growing old with my help-mate and my best friend. But I am even more thankful that we are growing older, together in love, with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Thanks be to God for His mercy and grace to both us for changing our hearts and allowing us to come to Him.

We are growing old together, this is inevitable. Thankfully, we are growing closer to God, and that is our choice!

Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.

State Select Stage Band (Proverbs 16:3 and Proverbs 16:9)

In my senior year in high school, I was thrilled and honored to be selected as the guitar player for the state select jazz stage band. It was a dream fulfilled to play with the top jazz musicians in the state. Rehearsals were scheduled every evening for one month culminating in a public concert. On the eve of the first rehearsal, my calculus teacher informed me of a potential conflict. In preparation for the AP exam, this teacher strongly recommended that all of his students meet every evening for one month prior to the exam, and take previous AP exams as practice exams. Although it was not mandatory, in the vernacular of this teacher, it was definitely understood as such.

I had a dilemma. Both events were not mandatory but both were related to my assigned classes in school. After several hours of deliberation and much angst, I informed the state select stage band committee that I would withdraw from the event. I reasoned that in my long view of life, doing well on an AP exam would benefit me more than the jazz band. Was I right? I don’t know. As a physician, calculus was an essential prerequisite for medical school. As a guitar player, I have played professionally, taught students, and lead worship in my church.

I am thankful that I was given the opportunity to participate in both events. At that time, I spoke to family and friends for advice. But ultimately, I had to decide. There was no right or wrong answer. This life decision was made along shades of gray, not black and white. But either decision would lead to pain and regret.

Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.

Proverbs 16:3 (ESV)

The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.

Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)

A few years later, through God’s grace and mercy, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Gradually, I learned to trust and depend upon God for my decision making. These two verses help me to navigate the many decisions and choices I make everyday. These decisions are often made along shades of gray and the choices may lead to some pain. Like my decision in high school, I am grateful for wise counsel from family and friends. But I am most grateful for the guidance from God. I commit and plan, but He establishes my plans and steps. And He give me His peace once the decision is made.

Praise God for His faithfulness to me!

Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.

Being Kind Is More Important Than Being Right (John 8:7)

Company refrigerators are a sore point for companies of every size. Issues such as theft of employee’s food, rotting food, and regular cleaning of the refrigerator all need to be addressed. This issue was slightly different. One employee is a stickler for observing expiration dates on food containers. He disposed of containers of coffee cream, salad dressing, and other condiments. While noteworthy, in his zeal, he disposed of food items that belonged to other employees, without first notifying them. To their annoyance, they found their bottles of salad dressings in the rubbish can, questioning who did this.

I called a meeting to establish a refrigerator policy. I acknowledged that perishable food products do display an expiration date and regardless of how any of us consider whether such dates need to be strictly followed, they are placed there for a purpose. Therefore, if anyone observed that a food item was beyond the expiration date, they should inquire to whom the item belonged and respectfully ask that they remove it. Under no circumstance will an employee discard another employee’s food product without first informing them. The staff all agreed with this policy.

After the meeting, I privately told the employee. “Sometimes being kind is more important than being right.”


Jesus Christ illustrated this principle in the beautiful and touching story of a woman caught in adultery. The scribes and Pharisees brought this woman to Jesus and proclaimed that Moses commanded that they stone a woman for such a crime. What did He say? They were correct and Jesus would be legally correct to command that she be stoned. Instead, He bent down and began to write with His finger on the ground. They persisted on asking Him until Jesus replied with the following…

And as they continued to ask Him, He stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”

John 8:7 (ESV)

Jesus’ answer stunned the zealous scribes and Pharisees. He did not deny that the woman had committed a crime. He did not deny that she should be punished. Instead, He showed mercy and kindness to the woman.

And once more He bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

John 8:8-11 (ESV)

Being kind. Being right. Being merciful.

Only God is able to perfectly do all.

Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.

Life 101 (Matthew 18:3)

Reading and meditating upon the Bible always enlightens and humbles me. For nearly every situation I face in life, I find an answer and example in the Bible. What always amazes me is that familiar Bible verses and stories, that I have read many times over, leap out and grab me with new meaning when the Holy Spirit uses them to instruct me. One example occurred this morning. The following verse is on my wall in my office. I read it nearly every morning as I pass it by, but today was different.

Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 18:3 (ESV)

As I read the verse, I pondered what it truly meant to become like a child? I thought back to my own childhood. I remembered the trust and innocence I had for my parents. I remembered the love and respect and the desire to do things to please them because I loved them, not from obligation. Yes, these were all good reasons why Jesus commanded us to become like children when we enter into a relationship with God.

And then it struck me. I can recite the correct answers but I am still learning these lessons. I am still so far from giving my uninhibited trust and love to God. My desire is not always to please Him but often just to please myself and meet my needs first. I am an adult yet I still struggle to become the child Jesus wants me to be.

These are the elementary principles of living a life with God and I still have not mastered them.  I know I will always be learning in the classroom of God, but I have not even progressed beyond Life 101!

Life 101.

As long as I remain on this earth, I will not graduate from this class. But I will not be discouraged! Thanks be to God for allowing me to even enter His classroom! I presently see things dimly but someday, when I am in Heaven with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I will behold the complete glory and truth of the lessons He is teaching me.


Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.

Blackout! (Luke 4:1)

The other morning as I sat in my office, at 545 AM, a blackout occurred. I always arrive early to my office to get a quick start on my day, uninterrupted by phone calls and visitors, but now, I sat in total darkness, completely unproductive. My thoughts raced through various contingency plans I would have to implement for my business if the power remained off. Nearly everything I do in my work requires electricity. Without power, I am helpless.

I opened my Bible app on my cell phone and read my daily devotional Proverbs and Psalms. Then, I prayed…for power, but not electrical. I prayed the Holy Spirit would fill me and empower me to be content in the circumstances that I faced.

Within 30 minutes, the electrical power was restored and my faith was strengthened.

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness.

Luke 4:1 (ESV)

When Jesus began His ministry, He was filled and empowered with the Holy Spirit and led into the wilderness to face temptation by Satan for forty days. Jesus faced hunger, fatigue, and Satan’s beguiling, but did not succumb to temptation. He could have been distracted, focused upon His difficult circumstances, and not obeying God, the Father. But the Holy Spirit empowered Him to remain steadfast in His mission and calling. His power rested upon knowing God’s Word and using it to silence the enemy.

When faced with a difficult situation that appears dark and hopeless, I need to continue to quiet my thoughts and use the time to focus upon Him and not the circumstances. I need to always ask the Holy Spirit into my life to empower and restore me.

Without electrical power, I am helpless. Without God’s power, I am hopeless.

Praise Almighty God for His promise of the power of Holy Spirit for all who place their trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.


Love and trust the Lord; seek Hiw

“It Was A Good Week!” (1 Corinthians 12:12)

A young man I am mentoring had a wonderful week. He graduated from college this past June and, like many of his peers, was taking a few gap years to work and enhance his application to medical school.


The week began with news that a research paper, on which he is a co-author, was accepted for publication in a major peer-reviewed medical journal. It is an important addition to his already impressive resume. A few days later, he was invited to an interview at medical start up company that has developed a proprietary platform to empower patients to enroll into clinical trials. At the end of the interview, he was offered a position as a clinical investigator. This job will place him in direct contact with many physicians and key players in the medical industry encompassing business, law, and finance. This networking will be an invaluable resource to learn about medicine in a way few medical school applicants will ever see.


It was a good week!


For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:12 (ESV)


I rejoiced with my mentee. He is a fellow brother in Jesus Christ. It was not his happiness that I celebrated, it was the happiness of a family member. We are forever joined together through our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. His joy is our joy.


When it is a good week for a child of God, it is a good week for the family of God, the Church!




Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.

“You’re A Christian, Aren’t You?” (Acts 28:14-15)

I recently purchased two new tires for my car. The shop is conveniently located next to my office so I left the car at the shop and returned a few hours later when the job was completed. As I was paying for the services, the manager smiled and asked me, “You’re a Christian, aren’t you?”


I was surprised and cautiously replied, “Yes. How did you…”


Before I could finish, he answered my question. “Your radio was on the Christian station. Very nice.”


Returning his smile, I asked him, “Are you a Christian?”


“Yes I am!” He beamed.


“Praise God!” I exclaimed. “Always happy to meet another Christian brother! We’ve known each other for several years now, but now I am happy I know you in a much deeper and important way!”


“Yes!” He nodded. “So important to let others know about God.”


We were definitely bonding. “Well brother, so glad to see you again. Until the next time, whether in this life or the next before our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!”


“Amen!” We both declared.


That put a big smile on my face. It was an unexpected and welcome surprise. I was comforted to meet another Christian brother in a location that I had visited in the past. As believers in Jesus Christ, we are His Church on this earth. We should seek out other believers to encourage and fellowship with them.


There we found brothers and were invited to stay with them for seven days. And so we came to Rome. And the brothers there, when they heard about us, came as far as the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns to meet us. On seeing them, Paul thanked God and took courage.

Acts 28:14-15 (ESV)


The Apostle Paul found similar comfort after being shipwrecked enroute to Rome. After setting forth from Malta, he sailed along the Italian coast visiting several cities before landing in Puteoli. He stayed there when he found other Christian brothers who opened their homes to him. Finally arriving in Rome, other Christian brothers came to see him and support him.


Like Paul, I am thankful to meet other Christian brothers and sisters wherever God leads me. They encourage me and broaden my vision of God’s Kingdom on this earth.




Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.

“If You’re Smart, You’ll Say What I Think You Should Say!” (Philippians 2:9-11)

When I was in high school, I was paired with an obnoxious classmate who delighted in belittling me. We had been paired once before, in the same class, when he was appointed the group leader. He relished the opportunity to be a dictator, barking out orders and assigning the most unpleasant tasks to me. His personality made me reticent to express my opinion, a trait that he eagerly pounced upon to his delight.


The teacher asked both of us if we were able to take orders from the other. He was concerned since the project may lead to sensitive and uncomfortable situations and he wanted reassurance that both of us were able to stomach the experience. My classmate glanced at me and smugly said, “If you’re smart, you’ll say what I think you should say.”


“Oh really?” I flashed him an annoyed scowl.  “I have no idea what I am supposed to say.”


He sighed and shook his head dismissively and trumpeted, “You should have said, ‘Yeah, I’m a masochist, I served under you!’ “


This self-deprecating remark was his half-hearted attempt at humor but it was too late for that. I declined the project and asked the professor to pair me with another classmate. Serving under him was simply not an option.


Through the years, I have worked with similar individuals who lead by being a dictator. They demanded my answers only met their expectations, instead of allowing me to express my opinion. They were more interested in hearing themselves talk, expecting that everyone else agree with their opinion, rather than having a productive discussion about reasonable options.


Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:9-11 (ESV)


The irony is that as much as I dislike working with individuals who channel dictators, when Jesus Christ returns to rule this world in the Millennium, He will rule as an absolute dictator! He will rule with an iron rod. Every decision will be perfect. Everyone will be blessed! I can gladly and willingly submit to Him because He is God!


There will always be leaders who are motivated by ego or selfish desires. I can chose to not follow them. But I chose Jesus Christ to be my leader. I serve Jesus Christ now. And I am smart enough to know what I should say when Jesus speaks to my heart…


I want Jesus Christ to reign over me forever!




Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.

Played Once A Day (Song of Solomon 2:6)

The Stradivarius violin, created by Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737), is one of the most coveted and revered musical instruments in the world. Played by some of the top violinists, the violin has fetched auction prices of nearly 4 million dollars. But all of the musicians who have had the privilege to play it unanimously state it is priceless.


There are some Stradivarius violins that are only on display in museums. One such museum is located in Cremona, Italy. The curator is musician, Andrea Mosconi. His daily duty is to play each violin and instruments. He says that if the violins “aren’t carefully looked after, including being played every day, the wood becomes stiff and unresponsive and the instruments will lose their rich sound.”


What a wonderful job!


Embedded within this story is a wonderful life lesson for all of us. Like the priceless violins, we, too, need to be played daily by our Master and Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, every moment of the day, we should be yielded to His loving embrace and allow Him to take control and comfort us.


His left hand is under my head, and his right hand embraces me!

Song of Solomon 2:6 (ESV)


God’s Hands are continually supporting our head and embracing us. If we don’t allow Him to support us, we, like the Stradivarius, will become stiff and unresponsive to His presence. We, too, will lose the richness of our praise and worship and disintegrate into whining and plaintive cries of complaints.


Allow God to lay His hands upon you every moment of the day. Let Him play you!


Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.

“He Likes It!” (1 John 3:1)

“He likes it! Hey Mikey!”


Anyone growing up in the 70’s remembers this tagline from a television commercial for Life cereal.




The commercial was an instant hit and the phrase was attached to any situation when someone did not want to try something that was “supposed to be good for you.” The idea, of course, was that if something is healthy and good for you, it will not taste good nor will it be a good experience.


For many years, I viewed Christianity with a similar degree of disdain. To my narrow understanding, being a Christian was a litany of don’ts! Don’t do this or that! If you do this, you will be punished by God. It was all rules and no grace, no love. People told me that I would be a better person if I followed God’s instructions. It was supposed to be good for me. I wasn’t buying it. I was done with God before I ever started.


But God, in His mercy and grace, was not done with me. He changed my heart and once I confessed and repented from my sins, and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I saw God in an entirely different light. It isn’t about rules and admonitions. It isn’t about do’s and dont’s.


See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know Him.

1 John 3:1 (ESV)


It is about being in a relationship with God who created and sustains the universe. It is a willingness to do everything possible to please Him, not out of obligation but out of love. It is all about love. Jesus laid His life down for us, to bear the punishment that I rightfully deserved for my sins. He did it because He loves me!


I serve Jesus Christ because of what He did for me.


Guess what? I like it! Hey Mikey, I actually love it!


Praise God!


Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.