“You’re A Smart Guy!” (Luke 16:13)

A fellow musician on my church worship team recently engaged me in a conversation about our faith. We reflected upon the trials of our lives and how some leaders of the Christian church had fallen to the temptations of money and success. As we recounted the examples, he shook his head and then looked at me and smiled.


“You’re a smart guy! This wouldn’t happen to you.”


I shifted uneasily and nodded. Sure, I thought. Such a smart guy. So smart that I, too, fell in similar fashion. For many years, I turned my back on Jesus Christ and deliberately lived my life in opposition to Him, chasing after money and success in my business. But as my professional successes increased, my personal losses accelerated. I was miserable and lost, serving a false idol of money instead of the true and living God, Jesus Christ.


No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Luke 16:13 (NKJV)


I served mammon-money, riches, and the accumulation of wealth. I did not want to admit it and convinced myself that my actions served the medical needs of my community, making life better for others. But the blunt reality was I served my own greed and interests.


Thanks be to God that by His grace and mercy, He rescued me from this life. It took many years and I still struggle with old habits. But God is faithful, even when I am not.


I am not a smart guy. I am a sinner and am saved only by the grace and mercy of my Lord, Jesus Christ.


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

“”We Were Too Busy To Do It!” (Psalms 46:10)

My company has several written protocols in place to ensure that pending cases are resolved and completed in a timely manner. Thus, I was quite surprised to learn that these protocols were not being followed when I was alerted to a case that was over a week old.


“I don’t understand how this case could have slipped by all of you? Our protocols should have identified this pending case after two days. What happened?”


My staff looked at each other with embarrassment and admitted, “We were too busy to do it!”


I dismissively shook my head. “But this is the reason why we put these protocols in place!”


My staff sheepishly acknowledged their error and recommitted their efforts to follow the protocols.


Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!

Psalms 46:10 (ESV)


Too busy to do it.


How often have I used these same words when it comes to my walk with God? There are many mornings, particularly after a weekend, when there are many pressing issues clamoring for my attention. I can easily lapse into a mindset that I am too busy to have my devotional and prayer time with God, needing to launch into my work. But this is precisely when I need to spend more time praying and reading God’s Word! If I only take the time to stop running my self-imposed rat race and be still and spend time with God, I will experience His peace that surpasses all understanding.


Too busy to spend time with God? It is during these times of greatest stress that God can show us His abundant grace and mercy.


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

“I Haven’t Left And I’m Already Missing All Of You!” (Philippians 1:3-4)

Our church celebrated and honored our youth pastor and his wife for their three years of service. God has been speaking to their hearts and, together with their young son, they will be moving to the next phase of their lives. Many people gave moving testimonies and a beautiful slide show captured the intimate relationships they had fostered. At the end, both the pastor and his wife took to the podium to thank everyone.


“Thank you so much!” he began. “This is so unexpected. We are so overwhelmed by your kindness! You know, this may sound strange, but I haven’t left and I’m already missing all of you!”


It was a very touching speech. Our youth pastor poured out his heart as he recounted the lives of the many youth that he was blessed to work with and see their growth in Jesus Christ. He shared that he was beginning to understand the longing in the heart of the Apostle Paul, when he wrote the following passage to the young pastor and his protege, Timothy. The Apostle Paul, through the power of the Holy Spirit, laid the foundation for many of the leading churches in the known world. His letters ring with the names of many saints for whom he was intimately acquainted. His heart ached to be with them.


I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy.

Philippians 1:3-4 (ESV)


God used this young pastor to touch so many lives in our church. And God used our church to touch his life. It was more than just his first ministry. We are family, brothers and sisters, united in the love of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. Though all of us may be departed from one another for a short time, we have the assurance of God that someday we will be reunited in Heaven, in the presence of God.


I already miss my pastor, too. But the love of Jesus Christ will always keep us together!


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

The Impossible Dream (2 Timothy 1:8-9)

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star
This is my quest, to follow that star,
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far
To fight for the right without question or cause
To be willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause
And I know if I’ll only be true to this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm when I’m laid to my rest
And the world will be better for this
That one man scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To fight the unbeatable foe, to reach the unreachable star

The Impossible Dream
Written by Joe Darion and Mitchell Leigh

Many are familiar with this beautiful song, taken from the famous Broadway musical, The Man of La Mancha. The main character, Miguel Cervantes, is imprisoned and about to face the Spanish inquisition. In prison, he is forced to make a defense of himself. He creates a fictional character, Don Quixote, a knight errant, sworn to uphold the forgotten traditions of chivalry. This song, sung to his love, Dulcinea, crystallizes his quest, his reason for living.

The words are majestic and the sentiment noble. And the message, strangely familiar.

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.
2 Timothy 1:8-9 (NKJV)

The Apostle Paul wrote these words at the end of his life. He had been imprisoned many times and faced death on many occasions. Shipwrecked, beaten, whipped, stoned-he endured all of this and more for one reason. It was not for chivalry, for the love of a woman, or some existential ideal for living. It was to share the good news of Jesus Christ, his Lord and Savior.

There are many noble causes for which one can fight and die. But there is none more noble than accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and sharing the Good news.

And this is not an impossible dream.

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

The Fruits of the Spirit and Jeopardy (Galatians 5:22-23)

“Next category, The Bible!”


We were celebrating the service of our Youth Pastor and his family who were leaving our church after three years. As part of the festivities, a version of Jeopardy, personalized to their lives, was being played by the entire church. When the next category was announced, I was excited. “I got this!” I thought. My overconfidence and pride, once again, got the better of me.


“What are the fruits of the Holy Spirit?”


Oh no! I knew the passage and some of the gifts, but shamefully, I never memorized the passage. But out of the corner of the room was a voice shouting the answer!


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)


My daughter perfectly recited the passage! I was absolutely beaming with pride! “That’s my girl!” I shouted. After the celebration, a sister in Christ came up to me and said, “I bet you were very proud of your daughter!”


“Oh yes! Never prouder!”


My daughter has been blessed by God with many gifts. She does well in school, plays the piano, is active in many volunteer activities, and is surrounded by many wonderful and caring friends. She has a kind and generous heart, especially toward her younger brother and other children with special needs. But it is her love of God that truly makes her beautiful.


Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Proverbs 31:30 (ESV)


My daughter accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. She lives with the gifts of the Holy Spirit because she seeks to place God first in her life.


I have never been prouder.


Thanks be to God for blessing our family!


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

A Dinner Prayer for His Patient (Philippians 4:6)

My spiritual godfather was a God-fearing man and a great man of prayer. From the moment I met him, I saw so many things in him that I wanted to emulate. Even a before dinner prayer took on new significance when he prayed. At one family dinner, he led our two families in prayer. After thanking God for the food, he then added, “And Lord, please watch over the little girl, whom I saw this morning, who has the kidney cancer. Please give her strength and healing and comfort her family.”


He was the director of pediatric dentistry for a major tertiary medical center. He treated thousands of children and dealt with many life threatening illnesses. I was touched that he would single out this very ill patient whom he saw earlier that day. I later learned that he would often do this so his entire family would also be encouraged to pray for his patients.


My godfather’s faithfulness and honesty in prayer left me with a lasting impression. At the beginning of each day, I pray for my patients. But like my godfather, some patients do stand out, particularly the ones with serious and life threatening diagnoses. For these patients, I will single them out by name and follow up with the referring physicians.


Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

Philippians 4:6 (NKJV)


Prayer must always underlie everything I do. I am thankful for the skills that God has gifted me to care for patients, but if it is not empowered by prayer to God, it is not dedicated to Him. Through the example of my spiritual godfather and many other saints whom I have met, God has shown me that a life of prayer is the life God wants me to lead.




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

“Happy Birthday! (John 3:3)

The recent Fourth of July weekend was a very special celebration for me. I spent it in Vancouver, Canada, celebrating many birthdays. It was my father-in-law’s 80th birthday, my mother-in-law’s 78th birthday, my sister-in-law’s 50th birthday and Canada’s 150th birthday! To top it off, I returned to the United States on July 4th, in time to celebrate our nation’s birthday!


We do love to celebrate birthdays. Families, friends, all coming together to rejoice in a birth and a life. And if one misses a birthday, greeting card companies have already anticipated the anguish we may feel by creating myriads of cards proclaiming, “Happy belated birthday!”


Yes, birthdays are very special and should be cherished. But there is another birthday that I celebrate with even more passion and joy-my spiritual birthday, the day I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. It was a Sunday night, a week before Easter Sunday in 1982. I had been wrestling with God for nearly six months. I read the Bible, learning about the life of Jesus Christ. I prayed that He would answer my prayers and make Himself real to me. On that evening, tossing and turning in bed, it all came together and God answered my prayers. The scales dropped and I confessed my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.


Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

John 3:3 (NKJV)


It was a wonderful birthday weekend, celebrating family, friends, and two nations. And it reminded me of my spiritual birthday. My spiritual birth may not have been as physically traumatic as my biologic birthday, but the process was far more life changing! On that day, I was reborn as a child of God.


Happy birthday to all believers who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior!


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