Shared Calendars (Matthew 10:30)

The internet has provided a convenient way for our entire family to keep track of our schedules. We use a shared online calendar which is parsed by the different members of our family. As I was reviewing the calendar, I marveled at how complex our schedules have become, just in the last few years. My daughter and son have the crowded schedules of teenagers. My business and my wife’s business are there. There are church activities and family obligations. In spite of the fact that all activities are listed, the calendar has become so crowded that I have actually missed important appointments due to the clutter. Thus, I need to continually review the calendar several times a day, setting electronic reminders.


I am overwhelmed attempting to keep track of my own calendar and three others. What if God shared His calendar with us? As absurd as this may sound, it would be even more incredulous to think I could begin to keep track of it.


But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.

Matthew 10:30 (ESV)


My head is literally spinning if I begin to comprehend the infinite possibilities that God oversees and directs for every living creature in every moment of eternity. Cataclysmic occurrences such as the birth of a new star to the joy of the birth of a new child. The thoughts, dreams, and activities of every living creature ever created or will be created are under His direction. Even the granular information such as the number of hairs on my head are known and directed by God. Way too much information for me or any created calendar! Thanks be to God that He is not limited by a finite brain like mine!


God’s calendar is not mine nor is it known to me. And I am very thankful it is not! I can barely keep track of my own schedule. God is on His time and His schedule, running the universe with perfect timing.


Praise God that He does!


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

“He’s Royalty!” (1 Peter 2:9 )

I recently had the privilege to attend the Sickle Cell Disease Foundation of California. The event was to honor my friend and colleague, a physician who discovered a treatment for sickle cell anemia. When I arrived, he was surrounded by other physicians and scientists who helped him bring his discovery to recent FDA approval. One the of men was unfamiliar to me and I was introduced to him by my colleague. After the perfunctory exchanges, my colleague proclaimed, “He’s royalty!”


I was intrigued. “Which country are you from?”


“Andorra.” He paused, anticipating the next question he undoubtedly answered thousands of times.


“And where is Andorra?”


He happily obliged and delivered an overview of his country-an explanation that left me wanting to learn more. The kingdom of Andorra. It sounded like a fairy tale kingdom, something out of a Disney movie. I researched it the next morning and discovered its history goes back to the fall of the Roman empire. It is landlocked, located in the Pyrenees mountains, between the borders of France and Spain. Once a kingdom, it is now governed as a co-principality between the President of France and the Bishop of Urgell (Catalonia, Spain). No matter that I did not know much about his heritage, I was absorbed by the experience of me, a commoner, conversing with royalty!


But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

1 Peter 2:9 (ESV)


In this passage, the Apostle Peter shared his awe of being a child of God as a believer in Jesus Christ, declaring all believers to be a royal priesthood, chosen and set apart by God for salvation.


The physician colleague who discovered the treatment for sickle cell anemia is a Christian brother in the Lord and one of my closest friends. The other man was royalty through his birthright. As I stood between these two men, I was struck by the contrast-a man of royal descent and a man of a royal priesthood.


I am a commoner but royalty be adoption. Anyone who confesses and repents of their sins and accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior can also become royalty. All believers in Jesus Christ are part of a royal priesthood, set apart by God for eternal salvation!


All praise the eternal and immortal King!


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

“Would Anyone Like Some Grated Cheese? (Lamentations 3:31-33)

The restaurant was buzzing with excitement as my wife and I and two other couples were seated. The noise level and clamor were expected of a popular restaurant. We placed our orders with the server who promptly disappeared into the kitchen.

I offered to say grace before the meal was served. “Heavenly Father.” I began. “Thank you for an opportunity to meet with our dear brothers and sisters in Christ. It has been a while since we have seen one another and…”


“Would anyone like some grated cheese?”


Our server had returned. Either he did not notice we were praying or he did not care. I did not open my eyes; nonplussed, I continued.


“…We thank you for the food we are about to receive. And it doesn’t matter whatever interruptions we have for this evening, You are always welcome to interrupt us, dinner or any other time. Amen!”


Praying in public places. It is a good witness to non-believers and a reminder that it is always good to thank God for our blessings, regardless of the circumstances. The inevitable interruptions will be present and this was certainly not the first time such an incident occurred. But as I was praying, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and encouraged me to add that last request, “…Interrupt us at any time.”


The next day, I reflected upon what I said.  It sounded very noble and godly but would I truly accept God’s intervention to interrupt my life?


Nearly every great saint of the Bible had their lives interrupted by God. Abraham was asked by God to leave his home and relatives. Job had his family and possessions taken from him. All of the prophets of the Old Testament were called by God to leave what they were doing and carry out God’s mission. In the New Testament, we read of the Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus and Peter and Cornelius, the centurion. Yes, their lives were interrupted but what was the outcome? God blessed them exceedingly abundantly. I need to learn from these saints.


For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not afflict from his heart or grieve the children of men.

Lamentations 3:31-33 (ESV)


God has interrupted my life-many times. I have not always responded kindly and at times, have fought and questioned His new direction for my life. But whenever I have these second thoughts about obeying Him, I think back to the most important interruption He made in my life, when He brought me to my knees and made me realize the depths and depravity of my sins. He showed me I desperately needed a Savior and I needed to repent and turn to His Son, Jesus Christ. God’s interruptions are the times He showed me His greatest grace and mercy!


God, you are welcome to interrupt my life at anytime!




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

“How Did You Find Out About Us?” (Acts 16:30)

Many retail stores and professional offices have their customers and patrons fill out an introductory form so that their personal information may be added to the company’s database. One common question is, “How did you find out about us?”


Recently, I came across an amusing answer to this query. I was reviewing a skin biopsy on a patient. As I was perusing the patient information sheets that accompanied the biopsy requisition, I spied this question and the patient’s answer, “I work here.” I flipped the sheets to the page that had the patient’s name and discovered that it was the office manager for this dermatologist’s office! I chuckled as I thought about how obvious and unnecessary that question was for this patient, who works in this office, to answer.


There are many questions that are asked of us to which the answer seems obvious, but only because we know the answer. But there are other questions that are asked of us that should seemingly have an equally obvious answer, but often result in confusion and even anger. “Do you believe in God?” is a sure fire starter.


The Apostle Paul and Silas were chained and imprisoned in a jail in the city of Philippi. They responded to their harsh circumstances by singing hymns and praying, witnessing to everyone in the prison. When an earthquake shook the prison, freeing the prisoners, the Philippian jailer was about to kill himself when he thought his prisoners had escaped during the earthquake. Paul and Silas cried out to the jailer and reassured him that they had not escaped and were still there. This dramatic turn of events compelled the jailer to ask the question that everyone should ask.


Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Acts 16:30-31 (ESV)


I pray that someday the answer to the jailer’s question will be as obvious to everyone!




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

The Secrets of Magicians (Matthew 28:12-15)

I recently watched a television series that stars a masked master magician revealing his secrets to the general public. The trick is performed then immediately following the performance, the magician reveals how the secret to how it is really performed. The narrator of the show continues to remind the viewer that the masked magician is revealing these secrets at great risk to himself because his actions are eliciting much anger from other magician colleagues. He is breaking the oath of professional silence that all magicians supposedly promise to never reveal their secrets to the general public. At the end of the series, the masked magician reveals his true identity and explains that he is giving away these secrets for the unselfish reason that the general public, and specifically children, would be inspired to try magic for themselves. Regardless of the magician’s true motives, I did not wonder why this magician was revealing his secrets, I wondered why it took so long for him or any other magician to reveal the truth?


I usually don’t have a great deal of difficulty keeping a secret, even if I was offered a large sum of money. But what if my life were threatened, or worse, my family or other loved ones were threatened with death unless I revealed my secret? Nearly two thousand years ago, the disciples of Jesus Christ were confronted with a similar scenario. They were eyewitnesses to the miracle of the resurrection. His tomb was empty and He was seen in bodily form by them and over five hundred witnesses. There were naysayers and officials who wanted to cover up the truth. Through the centuries, theories have abounded that Jesus was not really dead, only in a deathlike swoon. Another popular lie, depicted in the following passage, was that the disciples stole and hid the body of Jesus.


And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.

Matthew 28:12-15 (ESV)


Yes, these and other ludicrous lies were propagated. Chuck Colson, former Watergate conspirator, eloquently stated his reason why he believed the resurrection of Jesus Christ was true, in his personal testimony.


“I know the resurrection is a fact, and Watergate proved it to me. How? Because 12 men testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Every one was beaten, tortured, stoned and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren’t true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world-and they couldn’t keep a lie for three weeks. You’re telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years? Absolutely impossible.”


The masked magician may have faced the scorn of his colleagues but he was also handsomely paid for his revelations. Keeping a lie under the threat of torture and death? Perhaps some might. But twelve apostles and over five hundred witnesses? Absolutely impossible.


Jesus Christ lived and died and was resurrected. He is God. Place your trust in Him as your Lord and Savior. This is no secret. It is the eternal reality of life.


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

“Emails Are Passe!” (Isaiah 40:8)

One of my son’s teachers was lamenting the way he communicates with his students. “Emails are passe! I have better success using Snapchat!”


It is a remarkable sign of the times and evidence of the rapidity of technological change. It has only been about 20 years since I have been using email on a regular basis and already it is outmoded or replaced by other technologies such as texting and other forms of social media. Who knows what the next few years will introduce? Holograms? Or maybe something that has not even been invented yet!


Even the Word of God is being distributed by newer technologies. MP3 players, powered by solar batteries, are now programmed in hundreds of different languages, embedded with the spoken Bible.


The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.

Isaiah 40:8 (ESV)


Whether you hear the Good News of Jesus Christ through an online program or MP3 player, read it in a book or email, or view it in a movie or hologram, you have a choice and decision to make. If you confess and repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you will have have your sins forgiven, salvation, and eternal life.


Technology will continue to change and advance the means by which we communicate God’s Word. But although our methods of communication may change, the message remains constant. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.




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

Distractions (1 Samuel 13:8-9)

As I was driving home the other day, a car swerved quickly in front of me, cutting me off and missing me by an inch. I was furious and honked my horn. The driver stuck their hand out of the window and flashed an obscene gesture at me. Road rage was beginning to set in so I attempted to dismiss the incident and continued driving en route to an errand at the local supermarket. I was already preoccupied by the tragic events of the day. Wildfires were raging out of control in Northern and Southern California. My nephew was attending college in an area where the fires were raging and the radio just announced the indefinite cancellation of classes and possible evacuation of the campus and dormitories. Alarmed, I grabbed my cell phone and attempted to call him. However, I did this while driving through the supermarket parking lot. I slammed on my brakes when, out of the corner of my eye, a familiar sight crossed my path. It was a young family with a baby stroller. They glared at me as I nearly hit them, distracted by using my cell phone. I was distracted-by the rude driver, by the fires, and by my concern for my nephew.


Then go down before me to Gilgal. And behold, I am coming down to you to offer burnt offerings and to sacrifice peace offerings. Seven days you shall wait, until I come to you and show you what you shall do.

1 Samuel 10:8 (ESV)


Distractions are part of life and the Bible records many incidents. King Saul was instructed by the priest Samuel to wait seven days until he arrived so that he could perform the offerings and sacrifices to God, that only a priest was allowed to perform. But King Saul grew impatient. He was to lead his army in war against the Philistines and wanted God’s blessings. This was a noble desire. But he was unwilling to wait and took matters into his own hands, disobeying God’s commands.


He waited seven days, the time appointed by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the people were scattering from him. So Saul said, “Bring the burnt offering here to me, and the peace offerings.” And he offered the burnt offering.

1 Samuel 13:8-9 (ESV)


I am not condoning the actions of King Saul. He was wrong and he sinned. But too often, I am quick to judge and fail to place myself in the situations of  others. I can imagine the frustration, perhaps even desperation, that Saul experienced as he waited for Samuel. “I need to go to battle. I need God’s blessings. My people are depending upon me. Where is Samuel? Maybe he won’t come in time? What should I do?” He was distracted and he sinned. I was distracted and I sinned and the result was nearly disastrous.




How desperately I need God’s continual presence through His Holy Spirit to keep my life aligned with Him.


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

One Year Of My Life (1 Corinthians 13:12)

I have worked with dozens of professional colleagues. Many have become very close friends, even participating as members of my wedding party. But there have been a few who have made my life very difficult. One such colleague worked with me at a hospital nearly twenty years ago. At first, we were close colleagues, cordially interacting during our group’s monthly meetings. But when we were both assigned to the same hospital, conflicts soon arose. Every action I did angered him and if I ever tried to talk or help him out with his work, he viewed it with suspicion, thinking that I felt he was not capable of handling the workload. It came to a point that every morning, when I entered the hospital, I would seek out a deserted room and sit down and pray, sometimes for a half hour. I simply asked God to bring peace between the two of us. Frankly, the more I prayed, the worse the situation became. After a year, I was transferred to another facility and this colleague left our group. I have never seen or interacted with him since then.


I would love to share the profound life lessons that God revealed to me through this experience. Certainly, I learned patience. I learned to pray even when I did not see immediate results. I learned to be more critical of my own behavior, seeing how even small actions may be misinterpreted. Yet, even after nearly twenty years, I do not have a complete and satisfying answer. Instead, when I do reflect upon this year, I shake my head in disbelief that I expended so much emotional energy interacting with this one person.


For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

1 Corinthians 13:12 (ESV)


As the Apostle Paul wrote, in this world, we do not have a complete knowledge of what God is doing in our lives or His creation.  It is a sobering reminder to me that God continues to mold and shape me into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. I may not understand or realize all the lessons that God was attempting to teach me during that year of my life, but someday, in His presence, I will. Until that day, I can take comfort in the next verse the Apostle Paul writes:


So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:13 (ESV)


Love will see me through. I will continue to love this person even when he detested me. I will continue to love the life lessons I learned. And I will love God for His continual grace and mercy to me, a sinner, like my colleague, who is only redeemed by believing in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.




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

“Everything You Need To Know Is In the Outline!” (Matthew 22:37-40)

My son’s history teacher wanted to make his class as painless as possible for his students to learn. “Everything you need to know is in the outline!” He proclaimed, pointing to the projected outline. “I have students who have obviously went online and cut and paste very scholarly answers to some of my homework questions. That is very admirable…” he smiled, “But not correct.”


He once again pointed to the outline. “All the answers are here!”


The teacher wanted to make sure that his students did well in his class. But most importantly, he wanted to ensure that they remember at least a few key historical events. The class time would be spent discussing the events and applying the principles to current events.


More discussion and application and less memorization. That’s what I want! I immediately liked this teacher!


When one can apply learned principles to everyday life, it becomes much more meaningful and relevant. And there is nothing more relevant than the Bible. Finances, marriage, relationships? All of the answers are in the Bible! What about the use of the internet, nuclear weapons, and medical therapies. While these latter topics are not specifically addressed by name in the Bible, the principles by which we can make godly decisions about the use and implementation of these technologies are. For example, the use of the internet can bring a blessing and a curse for all users. It has streamlined so many activities in our life, such as shopping, business and banking transactions, and the dissemination of news and information. However, it has also served as a  source of fomenting strife and hatred through social media and has provided ready, covert, and inexpensive access to  gambling, poronography, and identify theft. These examples may appear black and white, but there are many shades of gray. The Bible gives us this direction.


And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Matthew 22:37-40 (ESV)


Jesus condensed the Bible’s teachings to these two great commandments. Think about it. If all of our decisions and actions are centered upon loving God and loving our neighbor, racial hatred, identity theft, and all sins would cease. Even gray areas of life such as the decision to chose one medical treatment over another would be answered by directly seeking God in prayer.


Do you need an outline for your life? God points us to the Bible. All the answers are here!


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

“Did You Know You Were Singing?” (Revelation 5:8-10)

The other morning, I was awakened at 215 AM by the sound of singing. It wasn’t my radio nor some early morning birds. No, it was coming from next to me; a beautiful melodic sequence with no discernible words. I thought I was dreaming but then, I heard it again. It was coming from my wife!


The following morning, I greeted my wife and asked her, “Did you know you were singing?” Her bemused expression answered my query. “Early this morning, I was awakened by singing. I wasn’t sure what I was hearing but when I was fully awake, you stirred and began to sign again!”


She didn’t remember the song nor could she recall her dream at that moment. It was a lovely spontaneous melody. Perhaps someday, I will hear it again.


And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll

and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God

from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”

Revelation 5:8-10 (ESV)


Someday, in Heaven, we will be continually singing and worshipping God, and, like my wife in her dream, we will think nothing of it. We will not have to make a decision to sing, it will be our nature and the reason we exist! It won’t be a dream, it will be our eternal reality!


I hope someday I will once again hear my wife’s lovely song. Spontaneous, beautiful, and soothing. It will look ahead to the glorious songs we’ll sing in the presence of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!




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