Surprise Me! (Matthew 7:7)

My prayer list chronicles my prayers from the initial date and an accompanying Bible verse. Whenever a prayer is answered by God, I record the date and outcome. As I review my prayer list, I note the varying length of times God has used to answer the prayers. Some prayers have been answered on the same day it was first recorded. However, there are several prayers that are still awaiting an answer after more than five years. Recently, I updated some of these prayers and prayed over them and asked God to surprise me. As the old adage goes, “Be careful what you wish for, you may get it.” I would modify that and state, “Be careful what you pray for, God will surprise you!”

God has surprised me many times with answered prayers. He kept my dying mother alive long enough for me to return to Hawaii and spend a last day with her. He allowed me to have one last telephone call with my father before he unexpectedly passed away. But perhaps the most surprising prayer God answered was the first prayer I ever truly prayed to Him.


Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Matthew 7:7 (ESV)


You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

James 4:3 (ESV)


Many years ago, I was searching to know the truth about Jesus Christ. Was He truly the only path to God? I asked God to grant my prayer to reveal Himself to me. It was the most honest prayer I have ever prayed and because I asked from the purest of motives, He answered my prayer affirmatively and dramatically!


A wise man once stated, “Pray for something so big that it will only succeed by God answering the prayer.”




God does answer prayers! And I am grateful that he does!


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

“Much Of The World Would Be Covered!” (Matthew 28:19-20)

The two most populous countries in the world are China and India, and their respective languages are Mandarin and English. Spanish is spoken by the majority of nations in Latin America. These three languages could allow communication with at least three billion people, slightly less than half of the world’s population. And this doesn’t even account for the peoples in Europe and Africa which could add another half a billion people who have some facility with at least English or Spanish.


English, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese.


If one is able to speak these three languages, much of the world would be covered! It would be wonderful to be able to visit and communicate with at least half of the world’s inhabitants. Sharing food, music, culture…this is what travelling is all about. But there is an even more important message to be communicated.


Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

Matthew 28:19-20 (ESV)


The Great Commission.


Jesus commands all of His followers to spread the Good News about Him to all nations of the world. To do this, we need to be able to communicate in their native languages. Thus, it is important to support the work of Bible translators. One such organization, Wycliff, states on its website, that as of 2017, the New Testament has been translated into more than 1400 languages and the entire Bible has been translated into more than 600 languages. Yet, it is estimated that there remains at least 1600 languages that still need a Bible translation.


English, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese. It’s a good start, but there is still much more work to be done. But thanks be to God that He is always with us, to the end of the age!




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

A Spiritual Blood Transfusion (Ephesians 1:7)

There is a new medical study that is testing the hypothesis that when blood is donated from younger patients and transfused into older patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s dementia, it may lead to cognitive improvement and improved memory. The study is based upon similar earlier studies involving mice. Scientists are cautiously optimistic suggesting that proteins present in the plasma of younger patients, and lacking in the plasma in older patients, may be the reason for the benefits.


It is certainly an intriguing hypothesis and if successful, could open the door to novel treatments not only for dementia, but for many other diseases. New blood may indeed have significant benefits.


Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

John 3:5-6 (ESV)


When a person confesses and repents of their sins and accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, they are spiritually reborn as a child of God.The Holy Spirit now indwells within us, sanctifying and transforming us into the image of Jesus Christ. It is because Jesus died on the Cross, taking the full penalty and punishments for the sins of the entire world. His blood cleanses us. Our physical body is the same but we have been given a spiritual blood transfusion!


In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,

Ephesians 1:7 (ESV)


It remains to be seen whether a blood transfusion from younger patients will have benefits for older patients with dementia. But I have no doubt that the blood of Jesus Christ will give all who call upon His Name, a spiritual blood transfusion. The benefits? Salvation and eternal life with God.

Praise God!


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

It’s About Serving God! (Deuteronomy 6:5)

My company is dealing with a financial setback. A major client was repeatedly delinquent in their payments to us. After months of negotiating and extending grace to their clinic, I decided to end our relationship and send the company to collections. They immediately responded with their lawyers and the situation has escalated into a legal battle.


This is a serious financial loss and has taken a great deal of my time. As I pondered the events of the last few months, God very clearly spoke to me. He showed me it’s not about the money or the lost client. He allowed me to become a dermatopathologist. He allowed me to create my company.  It’s not about preserving my livelihood, any financial gains or losses are in God’s control. He has placed me in my position in life and He could take it away. He could slay me but He is still sovereign. It’s not about recouping losses or legal actions. It’s about serving God. God is in control.


You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

Deuteronomy 6:5 (ESV)


So often, I am caught up in the rat race of life. I convince myself that the way I serve God is through my skills as a physician. This is true. But this is only one part of my relationship with the living God. It is more than my education, my occupation, or my customers. Every breath, every thought, every action must be to honor God. Only when I have this attitude will the apparent chaos and confusion of this current situation make sense. Regardless of the outcome,I chose to serve God rather than my profession and customers,


I serve God and Him alone. He does not serve me.




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

“I’m A CEO!” (Romans 10:13)

“So, you should come and visit our church! We would love to see you!”


“Ok!” my friend grinned. “But I’m a CEO!”


“So you’re too busy with your work to come for just one Sunday?”


“I’m a CEO,” he repeated. “Christmas and Easter Only!”


“Got it!” We both smiled as I nodded my head.


I know many CEO’s who are like my friend. While I do not know whether they are true believers in Jesus Christ, many of them do view Christianity as a cultural tradition. The church is a place to visit on Christmas and Easter, to those events, one could add weddings and funerals. To attend a Christian church on these days does not make a person a Christian, any more than growing up in a Christian household, attending a Christian school, or singing hymns and Christian songs. Not even reading the Bible or praying makes one a Christian.


There is only one way to become a Christian, to confess and repent of your sins and call upon Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior. Christianity is a personal relationship with the living God.


For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Romans 10:13 (ESV)


I am thankful my friend and many others attend church on Christmas and Easter. It is a great start and the messages that are preached on these two days usually present the Good News of Jesus Christ. I pray that God will continue to place all CEO’s in the pathway of His grace so that they will come to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.


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


Choose Joy (Philippians 4:8)

“Give me liberty, or give me death!”


The American patriot, Patrick Henry, declared this famous statement in 1775 to persuade his fellow Virginians to send troops to support the Revolutionary war against the British.His decision to make this noble speech was a major turning point in the war, gathering much needed support for the fledgling army.


We make many choices in life, perhaps not as stirring or life defining as Patrick Henry’s, but no less important to our lives as we seek to achieve our goals in life. As a Christian, I rely upon God to help me make my decisions. God does not force me down any path. He presents me with choices. The more I walk with God and spend time in prayer and reading His Word, the closer I can align my decisions with God’s will. His goals become my goals. I know this, but so often, I chose to go my way. And when I do, and things go awry, I am quick to blame God. In reality, I chose to walk this path. I chose folly. I chose sin.


When a man’s folly brings his way to ruin, his heart rages against the Lord.

Proverbs 19:3 (ESV)


For many years, I eagerly sought the joy of the Lord. I prayed to God, as King David did, to restore the joy of my salvation (Psalms 51:12). Slowly, I am learning that God’s joy is not only a gift by His grace and mercy, it is a choice that I must make, every moment of the day. I can chose to wait for God to restore my joy while at the same time, I can chose to surround myself with God’s joy.  I can think upon and remember people and events in a positive and uplifting light, rather than focus upon the negative and hurts. I can align my thoughts upon pure and lovely thoughts, filled with joy. I can chose to be filled with joy.


Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Philippians 4:8 (ESV)


I thank God that He gives me a choice.


I choose joy!


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

Who Is The Real Enemy? (Matthew 7:5)

Who is my enemy?


Military strategists, business consultants, even sports teams ask this question of themselves. Sometimes the answer is obvious. It is the business associate who reneged on their financial obligation to pay your company for the work you rendered. It is the family member who negotiated a side deal with an attorney to gain an upper hand on an inheritance. It is the employee who spreads rumors about their employer while divulging company secrets to a competitor. They are certainly not one’s friends. But enemies?


At the heart of each of these scenarios was a nagging doubt within myself that perhaps they were not wholly to blame. Was there another collaborator? Were there extenuating circumstances that could explain their behaviors? Perhaps.


The contract that was signed with the business associate was not as airtight as it should have been written and he exploited a loophole. The family member felt he was unfairly excluded from an inheritance and was seeking to preserve the financial stability of his children. The employee was disgruntled because, unknownst to me, he was putting in extra hours on his own time, but his efforts went unrecognized by the rest of the company.  Do any of these reasons justify their actions? No. But it does shed light on a common thread. I conveniently overlooked my own role, either by commission or omission, in fomenting the conflicts. Whether it was my inexperience in negotiating the contract, insensitivity to a family member’s needs, or inattention to workplace activities-I had a role and I failed to recognize this.


You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

Matthew 7:5 (ESV)


Who is the real enemy?


I am. My pride, my arrogance, my sins.


I need a Savior. I need Jesus Christ.


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

Total Solar Eclipse (Isaiah 40:28)

The internet, nuclear fusion, space travel.


Is there any limit to what man can achieve? This is the rallying cry of humanists who trumpet man’s greatness, man’s accomplishments, and man’s rule over nature. Man’s creativity and intelligence have the world in awe.


And yet, for a few minutes on August 21st, 2017, much of the United States was mesmerized as they witnessed the awesomeness of God’s Creation, a total eclipse of the sun. All of the news stations and social media internet sites were covering the event, replete with live blogs and videos of the eclipse. In the parking lot of my office building, several people were viewing the eclipse with special dark glasses or using pinpoint box viewers. In Southern California, because of our lower latitude, we only viewed a partial eclipse, but in Madras, Oregon, considered to be the best point of viewing, the spectators were treated to the full spectacle of a total eclipse. At the critical moment, we all watched the televised live coverage from Oregon and witnessed the eerie darkness that descended upon the audience as the sun was blocked by the passage of the moon. Spectacular and awesome! And so like God!


Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.

Isaiah 40:28 (ESV)


Have you not known or heard? Yes indeed, God can still rivet our attention! Do we realize that this is just an infinitesimally small manifestation of the beauty of His Creation? If God created all of this, does He also have an equally awesome plan for our lives? Yes indeed! God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to the earth, nearly 2000 years ago. He lived the life of a perfect human, completely sinless and obedient to God. He took on the sins and just punishment that we all deserved and died on the Cross. But the Good News is He was resurrected and raised from the dead, forever conquering sin and death. And for all who confess and repent of their sins and place their trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, salvation and eternal life will be theirs.


Has God captured your attention?




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

Vanilla (Proverbs 12:4)

“I’m vanilla!”


This is what my wife says to me when she feels that other people are more exciting, talented, creative, or energetic than she thinks she is. I reassure her that she is absolutely amazing. She manages to adeptly  juggle and balance her many responsibilities-a pediatric dentist, a mother to two teen-agers, and caring for a stubborn and spoiled husband. Instead, she laments that she is just plain and ordinary, like vanilla, nothing special.


Nothing special? Vanilla is the most popular aroma and flavor. Millions love it as a solo flavoring or as an additive with many different foods ranging from cakes, to ice cream, even with meats such as porks and steak. It is as versatile as it is delicious.


An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,

but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.

Proverbs 12:4 (ESV)


I am thankful and grateful for my wife-my crown, helpmate and best friend.She is anything but plain. Like vanilla, she makes my life richer and sweeter, enhancing everything I do. She brings this quality to her work, her family, and to her friends.


I wish I could be vanilla!


Love and trust the Lord; keep our family strong.

“She Can’t Speak To Her Father!” (Romans 8:1)

When I was about twelve years old, my father asked me to join him on a late night drive. This was distinctly unusual since it was 9 PM and my father was usually in bed by this time. I nervously agreed, fearing that he was going to reprimand me for something I had done. We drove a few miles to an unfamiliar neighborhood, pulling into the driveway of a darkened home. My father instructed me to wait in the car. He entered the home and did not return until about 20 minutes later. I sat alone in the dark, clueless over what was transpiring. My father then returned with a somber look on his face and we proceeded to return home.

During the return trip, he shared the burden that was obviously on his heart. “Do you remember Molly?”


I nodded slowly. “Yes, she used to work for you about 5 years ago. She was in high school.”


“Yes, that’s the one. She’s in trouble.”




“She has a boyfriend and she got pregnant. She can’t speak to her father about this.”


“Why not?” I naively asked.


“She’s afraid of him. She always knew that she could confide in me and that’s why she called me.”


She was obviously ashamed of her actions and did not think she could confide her hurt with her own family. I know if I had been in a similar situation, I may have felt the same way. Even though I was very close to my parents and loved them dearly, I never wanted my father or mother to be disappointed in me. But I did not have another adult that I could confide with the same confidence that this young woman had with my father.


Sadly, this young woman ended up getting an abortion. I later found out that my father attempted to convince her to continue with the pregnancy and put the baby up for adoption. He even offered to help her financially. But the pain and embarrassment were too much for her to handle at this stage in her life. She moved away and although my father made several attempts to contact her, he never heard from her again.


There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:1 (ESV)


This young woman’s guilt overwhelmed her. Even though my father attempted to help her, she could not forgive herself nor could she confide in others.  Years later, I viscerally understood this pain and guilt. I harbored sins and dark secrets that damaged my relationships with others. I felt I had passed the point of no return and God would never forgive me for my sins. But God, in his mercy and grace, brought me back into a loving relationship with Him. He showed me there is no condemnation when I confess and repent of my sins to Jesus Christ. No sins, nothing will ever separate us from God. How can this be? By the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ, all believers are forgiven of their sins and are adopted sons and daughters of God.


And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

Galatians 4:6-7 (ESV)


We have a heavenly Father who loves and accepts us as His own children. We have a Father to whom we have the privilege to confess anything to Him in prayer. We never have to be afraid to come to God with our problems, our fears, our embarrassments-anything we feel, any situation we encounter, God understands and can comfort us. And He will forgive us if we confess and repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.


With Jesus as my Savior, I learned of a new relationship with God. He is my Father that I will never be afraid to share my burdens and fears. I can always speak to God, my Heavenly Father.


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