“Too Much Of A Good Thing Is Bad For You!” (Proverbs 25:16)

“Too much of a good thing is bad for you!”


If something is good, shouldn’t more be better? Sounds logical. If one has eaten the finest steak, wouldn’t eating it every meal be better? As enticing as that may sound, I am certain our taste buds would soon grow fatigued and we would long for variety. What about a new car? Yes, the thrill of driving a flashy new vehicle may sate our appetite for a short time, but the next and greatest car will soon pass us by and we may feel we need to move on and acquire it. There is no end to our appetite for better, faster, stronger, or longer.  


If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you have your fill of it and vomit it.

Proverbs 25:16 (ESV)


Whether it be honey or a car, with material possessions, we can never have enough. Although we may try to disprove God’s Word, it always points us to Him and the Truth. There is only one Good thing-God. We can never have enough of Him!


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)


Jesus Christ lived a life unattached to material possessions. His birth took place in a stable. He was a peripatetic rabbi with nowhere that He could call home. Even His tomb was donated by another. But what He did not have in material possessions, He was overflowing with God’s provisions. He surrounded Himself with friends and disciples. He preached to all peoples regardless of their religious or cultural backgrounds. He touched and healed the diseased and outcasts. And He spent His free moments devoted to God, the Father, in prayer. He completely and perfectly loved God with His entire soul. By placing God’s needs first, God fulfilled all of His material needs. Too much of a good thing can be bad for you, unless it is God!


If you have confessed and repented of your sins and accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and and Savior, you already have a good thing, the best! Why look for the rest when you already have the Best?


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

Extending Grace (Hebrews 4:16)

I recently ended a professional relationship with one of my dermatology clients. Over four months behind in payments, I had repeatedly spoken to the owner and offered suggestions on how to work this out, all to no avail. I had no choice but to finally address the issue in blunt terms.


“We are now coming to the end of the month and in less than a week, you will receive another invoice for my services. You will then be four months behind in your payments. I have tried to extend grace to you but this is affecting our bottom line and we need to have some reassurance from you that you will pay.”


“We have no money.” I anticipated this answer but knew there were always credit lines to tap or other sources of revenues. It was a matter of priorities and in the mind of the owner of this dermatology clinic, we were low on the food chain of vendors that had to be paid.


“How about credit?”


“I can only give a partial amount.” The offer was less than 20% of what they owed me. Not the answer I wanted to hear but again, not unexpected. My options were exhausted.


“I have tried to extend grace to you and your company but I have reached my limit. I have sent you numerous emails, text messages, and tried to work with you but you have not tried to meet us part way.” I paused and sighed. “I have no choice but to end our relationship and no longer be the medical director of your laboratory. You will have my resignation letter by tomorrow.”


And with that, the attorneys took over.


Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4:16 (ESV)


The limits to my patience were reached and I felt that I could no longer extend any grace to this client. I bemoaned the limits of my grace and pondered the stark contrast to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. No matter how many times I have sinned, I can always come to Him and receive mercy and grace in time of need. But I must come with a repentant heart, one that truly desires forgiveness. And if I do, He is faithful and just to forgive me.


Extending grace. Thanks be to God that there is no limit to God’s grace if I have placed my trust and faith in Jesus Christ.


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

“You Are Becoming More Responsible!” (Jeremiah 17:10)

The family party was winding down and I was helping my parents clean up the house. As I was clearing a table my father smiled and said to me, “You know son, your mother and I are very proud of how you behaved these past few weeks. You are treating your sister nicely. You are becoming more responsible!”


I was startled by the statement. I was only 9 years old and far from being mature or responsible. In fact, I was thinking that my parents wanted to scold me for not being kinder to my younger sister, a frequent sore point in our family. I was actually quite upset with her and was teasing her, even earlier that same evening. Naturally I was pleased by my parents’ comments, but there was a nagging doubt in my mind as I wondered what my parents would say if they could see the true intentions of my heart.


I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways,

according to the fruit of his deeds.
Jeremiah 17:10 (ESV)


If I were to judge my own actions, I fail miserably. I either downgrade my sins and faults or upgrade my good deeds. For much of my life, I followed this world view. I thought that if I would do enough good deeds, it would offset my bad deeds, according to some metaphysical cosmic scales of life. At the end of my life, if my ledger of good deeds surpassed my bad deeds, I would go to heaven.


That all changed when I was in college and I learned the truth of God through His Son, Jesus Christ. I understood that it was not about doing good works or behaving in a way that others would find acceptable, it was about placing my trust in Jesus, the only person who ever lived a perfect and sinless life. He lived and died on the Cross, paying the penalty for all of my sins and the sins of everyone who has ever lived and ever will live. How could He do this? Because He is fully God and fully man. He, alone, endured the pain and suffering of an eternity of sin and separation from God, so that I would never have to face this punishment.


Responsible? The most responsible action I have ever taken in my life is to confess and repent of my sins and accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. He knows my every thoughts and the true intent of my actions. Through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit, He is slowly transforming me into the image of Jesus.


Praise God!


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

The Differential Diagnosis of Acute Chest Pain (Hebrews 4:15-16)

Every physician can recite the differential diagnosis of acute chest pain. Many of the diseases are familiar to lay people. One way to organize the diseases is by organ system. For example, an abbreviated list may include cardiac or heart causes such as a myocardial infarction or heart attack, a dissecting aortic aneurysm, or pericarditis, an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the heart. Gastrointestinal causes may include reflux or heartburn, or an ulcer of the stomach or esophagus. Think of all the body parts in the chest and there will be an accompanying disease. So, it will come as no surprise that the skin may also have diseases that are included in the differential diagnosis of acute chest pain. The most common condition is shingles. While this made intellectual sense to me when I first learned it, I never seriously considered it in my differential diagnoses. There were so many other life threatening conditions that shingles seemed to be an afterthought.


Shingles is a reactivation of the virus that causes chicken pox. If you have been afflicted with this disease, believe me, I feel your pain. I have had two previous episodes, both exquisitely painful. The first episode was memorable because the outbreak occurred on my chest wall, directly overlying my heart. It felt like an ice pick was being driven into my heart. At that moment, I viscerally understood, for the first time, why shingles is included in the differential diagnosis of acute chest pain! My approach to patients changed after my own experience. Once I experienced the pain and suffering of my patients, it made me become a better physician with a greater empathy.


For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4:15-16 (ESV)


Jesus Christ is the Great Physician. He understands our deepest fears, our most difficult struggles, and most searing pains. He experienced an eternity of suffering when He died on the Cross for our sins. At that moment, all of the sins of mankind-past, present, and future, were inflicted upon Him. He took the punishment that we deserved and conquered death by His resurrection. Because of this, I know that Jesus understands all of the pain I have experienced or ever will experience. I can come to Him with confidence, knowing that He knows exactly what is happening to me.


Like my own case of shingles helped me to better understand my patients and gain their trust, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross will always enable me to trust His Word and promises.




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

We Eat With Our Eyes (Psalms 34:8)

We eat with our eyes.


Every successful cook and chef knows this. The presentation of the food is part of the entire culinary experience. But it is not just the plating-the tableware, the decor of the dining room, even the servers are part of this presentation.


The other day, my daughter surprised me on my birthday by baking my favorite chocolate chip cookies. With her usual humility, she cautioned me, “Dad, it may not be as good as ones that come from your favorite bakery.”


I smiled, hugged her, and then took my first bite. It was delicious! It wasn’t just the sweetness of the cookie, it was the overwhelming affirmation of my daughter’s love for me as she watched me eat. I was eating with my eyes as I lovingly looked at her. It was, without a doubt, the best chocolate cookie I ever ate. “You’re right, sweetheart,” turning to hug her once again. “It is not as good as the ones from the bakery. It is waaay better!”


Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

Psalms 34:8 (ESV)


God presents His love and blessings to us through many different means. Perhaps this is why the psalmist rejoices in the safety and comfort of God’s love by appealing to our senses of sight and taste. Like the blessings I received from my daughter’s baking and her adoring face, God engages all of our senses when He blesses us. It is not just an intellectual knowledge of His Goodness, it is a blessing that overwhelms our senses!


We eat with our eyes. Taste and see that the Lord is good!



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

VIP Suites (John 14:2)

The Rose Bowl!


After 55 years, I finally attended a football game at the Rose Bowl! To make this an even more special event, I sat in the VIP section. My cousin is married to the athletic director for a major university and they were the visiting team. He kindly offered my family four tickets to join him, my cousin, and about 20 other VIPs. What a thrill it was to ascend the elevators and be ushered to these special rooms. The suites were air conditioned with trays overflowing with food and drinks! A large television screen simultaneously broadcast the game and there were luxurious leather chairs and sofas to lounge. The room opened to outdoor shaded seating, where we could experience the full excitement of the crowd and game. From our vantage point, I could see the other VIP suites, all with similar amenities. This was very cool!


In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?

John 14:2 (ESV)


As special a day that this was, it does not even begin to approach the glory and splendor of the day when Jesus Christ brings me to my eternal home in Heaven. His promise to me and all believers is that He has prepared a room for us. Air conditioning, gourmet food, an exuberant crowd…the Rose Bowl has nothing to compare to God’s Home!


Would you like to be there? The entry qualifications are also through a family member, but not a cousin. If you confess and repent of your sins and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, He will send His Holy Spirit to indwell within you. At that moment, you will become a child of God. You will have the privilege to address God as your Father in Heaven. Jesus, Himself, will usher you to your eternal and glorified room in Heaven.


VIP suites.


The Rose Bowl was amazing but I can’t wait to live in God’s home!


All praise be to the living God!


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

Eight Hours of Sleep (Ephesians 3:20)

Since high school, I have managed to get by on 6 ½ hours of sleep, with most evenings diminishing to 6 hours or less. But I have always wanted to get more sleep and on some Saturday mornings, I am sometimes able to get 8 hours. There have been many a morning when I awaken and think to myself, “Wouldn’t it be great if I could sleep 8 hours every night?”


Recently, my sleep schedule has been dramatically altered and I begin my day much later, due to changes in workflow in my office. Instead of arriving to work at 5 AM, I am now arriving at 8 AM or even later. I still go to sleep at 10 PM but instead of awakening at 420 AM every morning, with just under 6 ½ hours of sleep, I now awaken at 6 AM, getting a full 8 hours of sleep.


It has been exhilarating and I have never felt so well-rested. But there has been additional benefits, I get to spend quality time with my family in the morning. The first morning this happened, neither of my children knew I had changed my schedule. I heard my daughter say to my wife, “Do I hear Dad’s voice?” To her surprise and my joy, she came downstairs and gave me a big hug. Then my son, quietly crept down the stairs and peered into my office, equally surprised to see me. He, too, gave me a big hug. Now, my new routine is to see my daughter and son off to school. I also have time to speak to my wife who is now awake and preparing to leave for work.


These blessings came because of a change in workflow, a loss of an important client that needed their completed reports early in the morning. Without the client, there was no reason to continue to come in early. God has blessed this loss by re-charging me with additional sleep, allowing me to spend precious time with my family in the morning, and in a most unexpected turn, gave me additional business and new clients, more than making up for the lost revenue.


Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us…

Ephesians 3:20 (NKJV)


What began on a somber note of a lost client has become another opportunity for God to bless me. And when God blesses, He does so exceedingly abundantly!


All praise to the Living God!


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

“Name Your Favorite Bible Verse!” (Proverbs 17:17)

“Please call me when you have a chance. I want to share with you what your son said at our church retreat.”


The voicemail message was intriguing. Our family had just returned from our annual Labor Day church retreat, held in the San Bernardino mountains. A dear brother in the Lord was the guest speaker for the youth and my son and daughter were privileged to hear his sermons and gifted teachings. We frequently spoke with him at the retreat so we were surprised to receive this message from him. When my wife and I called him on the phone, he was in a jovial spirit.


“Well! I have to tell you what your son shared at our last session. I asked all of the guys to name their favorite Bible verse. Most of them said things like ‘John 3:16’ or ‘Genesis 1:1’ but when it was your son’s turn, he unhesitatingly stated Proverbs 17:17! It caught all of us by surprise! And then he recited it for us!”


A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Proverbs 17:17 (ESV)


I was beaming! I have been creating a collection of Bible verses for my son. Above each verse, I place a photo that illustrates the meaning of the verse. For that particular verse, I placed a photo of my son with one of his closest friends, a dear sister in Jesus Christ. Everyday, we review the Bible verses and at least once a month, we review this particular verse in Proverbs. My son has memorized other Bible verses such as John 3:16, John 14:6 and Isaiah 40:28 but he has never quoted Proverbs 17:17. Since he has hundreds of verses in his folders, I did not expect him to have many other verses memorized. I told my friend that I am thankful to God for bringing this sweet young lady into the my son’s life. I was sure that because of her kindness, my son remembered the Bible verse.


It was a very special God moment and this verse in Proverbs is a beautiful reminder of how God works through the different members of the Church to bless one another.


God has truly blessed my son and my family with caring brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ.


Thank you Jesus!


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

“I Give You Your Freedom, Go!” (John 8:36)

It was the summer of 1982 when I returned home to Hawaii after completing my sophomore year in college. Since my last return at Christmas, there were many changes in my life. For over a year, I had been following the teachings of a woman known as “divine mother.” She taught a universalistic religion declaring that all religions were different paths to the same god. Krishna, Moses, Muhammad, Jesus, Buddha… all of them were prophets, different manifestations of god.  She also claimed to be a prophetess and, while acknowledging the truth of all other religions, claimed that her path was the most direct path to god. When I began my sessions with her, I eagerly accepted what she taught. I bemoaned the conflicts between the many different religions and sought a way to harmonize the different religions. I found her teachings to be intellectually satisfying and refreshing.


I augmented her teachings by delving into advanced studies in Hinduism and Buddhism. I even began reading the Bible. After all, if all religions are paths to the same god, I naively believed that all religious writings should point to the same truth. Initially, I was pleased to find complementary ideas between the religions and its respective writings. But with time, some cracks began to appear. I kept stumbling upon the verse from the Gospel of John in the Bible.


Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 14:6 (ESV)


If all religions are paths to the same god, then how can one reconcile what Jesus emphatically stated with His teaching? I realized that I needed to have this answer completely resolved. I spent many hours asking God for answers. God responded and sent a dear brother in Jesus Christ who faithfully met with me every weekend, explaining and clarifying the truths of the Bible. Slowly, God changed my heart and opened my eyes to see the Truth. A week after Easter in 1982, I confessed and repented of my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. God gave me the freedom to seek Him and He blessed me exceedingly abundantly. All of the doubts were gone, but there was still one more task I needed to do. I had to confront “divine mother.”


With some trepidation, I met with her. After a perfunctory exchange of pleasantries, I began to share some of the changes in my life. It was almost as if she were not listening to me as she nodded and smiled. I persisted in updating her and began to share the Gospel with her, pointing out the inconsistencies between her teachings and what Jesus Christ taught. I was so intent upon sharing my faith, I did not realize the change in her countenance. The smile disappeared and a glare replaced the formerly serene visage. In a burst of anger, she exclaimed, “I give your freedom! Go!”


Divine mother was having a very human tantrum!


I was free, but for the first time in over a year, I felt separated from God. But which god? Was it the universalistic pantheistic god that I and every particle of the universe was a part or was it the Christian God who created the universe and every living creature, a Creator, separate from His Creation? There was a twinge of doubt as I fell on my hands and knees and asked God to reassure and confirm my faith. In a moment, God affirmatively and decisively answered my prayer and filled me with His peace and comfort. It was a freedom to choose and a freedom to love God who gave me His Son, to die for my sins.


So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

John 8:36 (ESV)


In Jesus Christ, I have found the greatest freedom that I have ever desired. My earlier misconceptions of Christianity, encompassing a set of rules and do’s and dont’s, was shattered once I confessed and repented of my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. There were no rituals, no good actions or good behavior that could earn my salvation. No one is good enough, only God. This seemingly uncrossable gap between man’s sins and God’s perfection could never be bridged by my actions. No, God would have to bridge this gap. In the greatest act of sacrifice and love the universe will ever witness, God became a man and lived a perfect life, without sin. This is Jesus Christ, who took the punishment for all of my sins and for all Creation.


Only God gave me the freedom to be the man that He created me to be.


Thanks be to the Living God!


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


“I Never Want Issues of Money To Come Between Us” (Colossians 4:1)

I have several dermatopathologists working for me. At the end of each month, I direct my billing supervisor to produce a spreadsheet that documents the dates they worked for that month, the patient reports they produced, and the payment received for each case. As soon as I receive this spreadsheet, I review it and forward it to the respective dermatopathologist. I then issue a check for the previously agreed upon percentage of collections for the work they completed for me. This entire process appears to be the most efficient and transparent way to accurately document the work that was performed and match it with the received payments. I explained to my colleagues that I never want issues of money to come between us.


My grateful colleagues informed me that with other laboratories and dermatology offices where they have worked, all they receive is a check at the end of the month. There is no spreadsheet or statement that documents the work done or the payments received. It is all based upon trust. But that trust has its limits. One of my colleagues kept track of the patients he saw and the anticipated payments he should receive. In more than one instance, he found discrepancies between the services he performed and the payments the office received. Upon further investigation, his employer admitted he had not been as compulsive to follow up with some payors and receive all of their payments on time, erroneously entered wrong billing codes resulting in decreased reimbursement, or even neglected to bill for certain procedures.


Masters, treat your bondservants justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.

Colossians 4:1 (ESV)


This command of the Bible can be updated to today’s workplace. “Employers, treat your employees justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.”


God holds me accountable to be completely honest and transparent with my colleagues and my employees. While they work for me, I work for God. I honor God by being a just and fair employer. Transparency is more than documenting financial transactions, it is being completely open and honest with my motives, something my employees can witness, but most importantly, something only God can see.


Money should never become an issue between myself and my employees and colleagues who work for me as long as I seek to put God first in my company and my life.




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