Nothing Is Impossible! (Luke 1:37)

“That’s impossible! No one can do it!”


“God can! He can do anything!”


How often have I heard this conversation? I heard it as a child when my innocent and puerile mind viewed God as a superman, an uber-superhero. Within a few years this was replaced by the cynicism of my atheistic adolescence, and I mocked others with this same phrase. But I finally believed it as an adult when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.  If God is who He says He is, why wouldn’t He be able to do anything, even turning the heart of a self-absorbed and petulant young adult into a believer? God can do the impossible. The Bible reassures us of this promise throughout thousands of years of history.


Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.

Jeremiah 32:17 (ESV)


Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”

Mark 10:27 (ESV)


For nothing will be impossible with God.

Luke 1:37 (ESV)


When we pray and ask God for intervention in our lives and in others, we may ask for the seemingly impossible. Even if the prayer is for a seemingly noble cause like seeking a cure for a family member afflicted with a life threatening disease, we must always remember that God is not our cosmic bellhop or personal servant. We pray in the will of God through the Holy Spirit’s guidance and prompting. We should follow the example of God’s own Son, Jesus Christ.


And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

Mark 14:36 (ESV)


Nothing is impossible with God, but He may not always grant our desires. He gives us what we need, not necessarily what we desire. Even for the agonizing request of His Son, Jesus Christ, in the Garden of Gethsemane, God’s answer was no. Why? How could God turn away from His own Son’s request? It was not in His will. His purpose in leading Jesus to the Cross and the humiliating crucifixion was to reconcile the broken relationship that sin had ruptured between God and man. God did not spare His own Son because He loved us and accomplished through Jesus’ death and resurrection what a lifetime of anyone’s good works or moral living could never accomplish. God did the impossible.


Nothing is impossible with God.


He sacrificed His Only Son to prove this.


Thanks be to the Living God!


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


Looking For The Elephants (Luke 11:11-13)

As a young child, my daughter had a love for elephants. She would often draw pictures of them and had stuffed elephants adorning her bedroom. When I traveled, I made sure I brought back an elephant momento for her. And of course, any visit to a zoo would not be a success without seeing these magnificent pachyderms.


One famous zoo we visited was renowned for their elephant collection. As expected, my daughter insisted on seeing the elephants-first. Located in the back of the zoo, we had to pass nearly every other animal exhibit. I attempted to convince my daughter to stop and marvel at these other animals but to little avail. “Daddy, I want to see the elephants!”


After navigating the labyrinthine pathways through the zoo, we arrived at the elephants. As we soaked in the magnificence of these beautiful animals, my daughter’s face beamed. I turned to her and asked, “Are you happy?”


“Yes Daddy!” She didn’t avert her eyes. “Thank you!”


It was a very special time in my daughter’s life. Although she does not have the same adoration for elephants as she once did, at that time in her life, little else mattered. I was more than happy to make her dreams come true.


As I reflect upon my relationship with God, my heavenly Father, I wonder how many times He has given me what I desired for no reason other than to make me happy? God answers all of my prayers, according to His will. Intercessory prayers on behalf of another always appear to be a noble request and I am never hesitant to do so. What about when I am praying for myself, for seemingly gratuitous reasons, only to make myself happy? There are many prayers that God has affirmatively answered in my life when the only reason I could reasonably discern was that God did it just to make me happy. Selfish? Perhaps. My experiences with my daughter have helped me to understand that God is also a doting Father, willing to grant my earnest desires if only to bring me joy for that moment in time and appreciate His exceedingly abundant love.


What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!

Luke 11:11-13 (ESV)


God always answers my prayers and He gives me what I need, not necessarily what I want. He has made all of my dreams come true and I know that even more blessings are awaiting. In spite of my selfish desires, God continues to love me. His greatest blessing was to give me His Holy Spirit when I confessed and repented of my sins and accepted His Son, Jesus Christ, as my Lord and Savior.


What a merciful and loving God we serve!

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

“We Only Recognize Those Whom You Have Called!” (Galatians 6:2)

The young couple beamed as the Pastor introduced them to the congregation. Holding hands and gazing out over the congregation, they were confident and elated with their new positions within the local church.


“We are pleased to introduce Jake and Ann. They will be co-leading our college ministry. Let’s pray for them.” Closing his eyes, the Pastor placed his arms around both of them and prayed, ”It is you, Father God, who have chosen them. We only recognize those whom You have called!”


As believers in Jesus Christ, we are all called to serve in the Church, His Body, yet not all roles are so highly visible as a pastor or a director of a college ministry. What about those who are called to work behind the scenes? The ushers, musicians, hospitality, and prayer warriors-all of them are part of the Church and, thankfully, are the glue for many local churches, ensuring that operations run smoothly.


But God sometimes calls certain people only to minister at one specific point in time. One such instance occurred for me, on a plane trip, returning from Hawaii. During this very difficult period in my life, my mother was dying from cancer. I flew to Honolulu thirteen times in eleven months, leaving Los Angeles on a Friday evening and returning that Sunday evening. On one of these return trips, I sat next to a man, a few years younger than I. Aside from the exchange of perfunctory pleasantries, we did not speak. In the last hour of the flight, he turned to me and asked, “Were you on vacation in Hawaii?”


My heart was still heavy from the emotional roller coaster of spending the weekend with my mother. I begrudgingly said, “No, not quite.” I rudely turned away from him but my emotions rose to the surface. “Sorry,” I began. “I was visiting my mother in Hawaii. She is dying from cancer.”


The stranger looked at me and spoke softly. “You know…as I sat here next to you, I heard God speaking to me, telling me to reach out to you.”


After a few minutes of sharing, it was clear he was a fellow believer in Jesus Christ.  He prayed with me and shared a few Bible verses of encouragement. The plane soon landed. We did not exchange contact information and I only knew his first name. I have never seen or heard from him again. I recognize that God, the Father, called this man to minister to me for just that tender moment in my life.


Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:2 (ESV)


God calls all believers into His service. We are to bear the burdens of those around us, to bring the sweet aroma of Jesus Christ into this broken world. Only God knows all whom He calls to serve Him.  I am thankful for the many saints that God has called to comfort me in my life. I pray that God will open my eyes and heart to bear another’s burdens and spread the hope and joy of Jesus Christ.




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


What Is Kindness? (Matthew 21:15-16)

What is kindness?

A casual search through the internet will yield over a hundred million entries. The answers range from the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate (Google) to a behavior marked by ethical characteristics, a pleasant disposition, and a concern for others (Wikipedia). These are all good definitions but the answers seem to be descriptive rather than illustrative.


Even a search on the word in the Bible will reveal several dozen verses, depending upon the Bible translation. All very meaningful and beautiful but ultimately unsatisfying in my quest for an answer. I searched Bible dictionaries and scholarly articles, but for such a seemingly simple word, the interpretation was muddled, dense with theological overtones. I was desperately seeking a lucid definition and unexpectedly, my son provided the clarity. When asked the same question by his teacher, he quickly replied, “The Lord our Savior!”


But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant, and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read,

“‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?”

Matthew 21:15-16 (ESV)


Is it any wonder that Jesus Christ praises the unadulterated and unabashed faith of children? Jesus admonishes us that our faith needs to be like that of children before we can enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 18:3). Bible dictionaries, books on theology, commentaries…all of these are very important to help us understand the riches and depth of God’s Word. But it is the pure and simple faith of a child that God truly desires to understand the true meaning of kindness.


It is only found by confessing and repenting of our sins and accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. He is the meaning of kindness.




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

“The Prophet, He Loves Me!” (James 2:1-4)

Many years ago, I was privileged to practice family medicine on the Micronesian island of Ponape. During my two month rotation, I lived in an apartment building inhabited by several workers associated with the United States Peace Corps and the United Nations. One of my neighbors was a prosthetics expert from Burma and he and I became very close friends. I always prayed before our meals together and one evening he asked me about my faith.


“Are you a Christian?”


I nodded, eager to have an opportunity to share my faith with my new friend.


“When I first came to Ponape, I visited the Christian church.”


“Did you like it?”


“No.” His terse reply prepared me for an uncomfortable exchange.


“I came in and was told to sit in the back of the church. No one greeted me or talked to me.”


I shook my head. I wanted to say something that would somehow put the awful experience in perspective but what could I say? How could I defend my Christian brothers and sisters? I didn’t have to, my friend had already made up his mind about religion.


“But I visited the other church, the one where Dr. Smith teaches.”


Dr. Smith was one of my medical preceptors, overseeing my training during the rotation. He was there as a missionary, an ambassador for his religious faith. It was not Christianity but a religion that embraced universalism, espousing that all religions were paths to the same god. It’s prophet was revered as the latest incarnation of God, like Jesus or Muhammad. It was a religion that warmly embraced my friend.


“Everyone was so nice to me! They showed me where to sit. They talked to me about the prophet. We had lunch after church. Whenever I returned to the church, I was always welcomed! So friendly!”


My friend beamed as he recalled his experiences. “The prophet, he loves me!”


My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.  For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in,  and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,”  have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

James 2:1-4 (ESV)


It is a sad testimony that some Christian churches are not inviting or caring to new visitors, or even to their own church members. I have been on the receiving end of a chilly reception at several churches, similar to what my friend experienced the first time he visited a Christian church in Ponape. There is no excuse for this type of behavior from any Christian or a church. Jesus Christ embraced everyone: men and women, rich and poor, sick and healthy. Why? We are all sinners in desperate need of a Savior. Jesus gave us the supreme example of how we are to make no distinctions between ourselves and those who seek to worship God and attend a church. All are welcome because all of us are sinners.


Jesus Christ loves all of us.


I pray that I will be an example of His love and not of my sinful nature.


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

“That’s The Explanation!” (Romans 7:24-25)

The other morning, I awoke to slightly blurred vision in my right eye accompanied with an uncomfortable sensation. In the past, this was nearly always due to mucus or an entrapped eyelash under my contact lens. But after removing and rinsing the contacts, the blurred vision and irritation remained. Hopeful this episode would pass, I arrived at my office about an hour later and proceeded to view my microscope slides. To my horror, I could not focus.


I texted my optometrist, a dear brother in Jesus Christ, and informed him of my plight. He graciously agreed to see me the next morning. In the meantime, I discarded my contact lenses and wore my glasses. This mitigated some of the discomfort but my vision was still slightly blurred. When I saw my optometrist the next morning, he quickly diagnosed my condition.


“Your corneas are swollen. I’m surprised you can see as well as you do.”


“Wow! What causes this?”


“Could be several reasons…irritation from contacts, injury. Let’s have you not wear your contact lenses and return in two weeks to see if your vision improves.”


“Sounds good! Hope it isn’t anything serious!”


My optometrist smiled and said, “I see this with people our age. They wear contacts for years and then when they get older, there are changes to their bodies. Their eyes may get drier and the contacts are more irritating. It is more common in women, especially when they enter menopause.”


My eyes lit up. “Seriously? I must be going through male menopause. It all makes sense. My moodiness, my fatigue, my crankiness! That’s the explanation!”


My optometrist let a thoughtful pause go by, cracked a wry smile over my epiphany, and followed with a diplomatic reply. “I think you would know more about that kind of thing!”


Male menopause!


The medical community is divided over the merit and validity of this diagnosis. Certainly there are physiological changes that afflict all us when we age and may lead to different and aberrant behaviors, but growing old does not explain these same behaviors I have perpetrated upon others for my entire life. I was cowering behind a dubious diagnosis, attempting to excuse my bad behaviors. I know my true diagnosis.


I am a sinner.


Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

Romans 7:24-25 (ESV)


As a physician, I can convince myself of the veracity of biological and genetic explanations for my sins and bad behavior. But I am lying to myself and to God. My selfishness and arrogance is rooted in a much deeper problem than physiological changes. My relationship with God is broken by sin. There is only one treatment and one cure. I must confess and repent of my sins and accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.


That’s the explanation! Jesus Christ!


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



“What’s The Meaning of Life?” (Mark 10:17)

Our laboratory computer system was not working and I needed the assistance of an IT consultant. I experienced similar episodes in the past and was familiar with the usual protocols that IT consultants follow. By the time the consultant called, I attempted to save time by sharing what I had already accomplished.


“I rebooted the computer…twice. I have also rebooted the router. So what questions do you want to ask me?”


“Well it seems like you have answered all the usual questions.” The IT consultant jocularly fed me lines. “What’s the meaning of life?”


“Is that all?” I quickly retorted. “I thought you were going to ask me a difficult question!”


I was about to direct the discussion to Jesus Christ but was aware we were both on tight schedules, so I added, “You know, I would love to talk to you about the meaning of life when we have more time. Really.”


We concluded our phone conversation. The opportunity to talk about life never resurfaced as the consultant switched jobs and a new consultant serviced my account. Perhaps the question was raised in jest, but it is a question that everyone must answer for themselves.


And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

Mark 10:17 (ESV)


The rich young man asked Jesus the same question. He was confident that he was doing all the right things to gain eternal life. And yet, when Jesus told him the Truth, what did he do?


And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

Mark 10:21 (ESV)


When given the Truth, did he act upon it? No. He slinked away, realizing that the cost was too high. Perhaps he regretted even asking the question, because now that he had the answer, what would he do with it?


For many years, the same question would be asked of me. My answer to the questioner was either flippant and nonsensical, “Life is one hand clapping!” or, like so many in this politically correct and non-confrontational world, polite, “We should all try to get along with each other and live in harmony.”


But there was a nagging tugging at my heart. What if God truly did exist? What would that mean for me? If I knew the Truth, what would I do with it? Thanks be to God that by His grace and mercy, He led me to know the saving grace and mercy of His Son, Jesus Christ.


I don’t know the spiritual condition of my IT consultant but I pray that someday we will have this conversation and I can give him the answer that God has so emphatically and decisively answered for me.


What’s the meaning of life?


Call upon and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved!


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


Soul Strength (Psalms 138:3)

For over a year, I have been absorbed by a daily exercise routine on an elliptical machine. Due to previous injuries to my sacroiliac joint, I sought an exercise that would combine aerobic fitness with minimal stress upon my weight bearing joints. The ease in which I adopted this routine was a pleasant surprise since I previously eschewed aerobic exercises, opting instead for weight training. Unexpectedly, my acceptance of the elliptical led to the steady addition of other non-weight bearing exercises such as planking. Finding one exercise that resonated with me led to a broad and smoother pathway to overall fitness and improved health.


God worked a similar path in my spiritual life. For many years, I floundered in a spiritual wasteland. Like searching for exercises, I did many things that I and others suggested should be good for me. I read the Bible and attended Bible studies; I prayed; I attended church. These are all very good but it was done with an emotional detachment.  I was learning about God but not seeking God. By the grace and mercy of God, He showed me the pathway to strengthen my soul. Just call upon His Name!


On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased.

Psalms 138:3 (ESV)


God promises to strengthen the soul of all those who honestly and diligently seek Him, whether a seeker or believer. On my hands and knees, God showed me how I was simply giving Him lip service. I needed to humble myself and call upon Him. I needed to strengthen my soul.  Once He did, all the other spiritual disciplines resonated deeply within me. The Bible, prayer, fellowship in the Church-were all reinforced. Why? All who call upon His Name will be saved.


It is true in the Old Testament.


And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved…

Joel 2:32 (ESV)


It is true in the New Testament.


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

Romans 10:13 (ESV)


It is true for eternity!


And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Acts 2:21 (ESV)


God repeats this invitation to call upon His Name three times in the Bible. This invitation spans thousands of years. God’s message is constant and relentless. God know how to strengthen your soul. Wherever you are in your search for God, confess and repent of your sins and call upon the Name of Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior!


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


Parachute Teachers (Mark 1:22)


Substitute teachers.


Nearly every student, at every grade level, has experienced a substitute teacher. Although the regular teacher will leave lesson plans and desire noble goals for their students during their absence, in the majority of cases, the substitute acts as a behavior monitor or living placeholder. I can recall many substitutes allowing us to have a free study time or even watch a movie or documentary, completely unrelated to our coursework. With rare exceptions are any new ideas introduced or is there a continuation of the existing lesson plans. It is a problem that is worsening. Some educators estimate the average student may spend up to six months with different substitute teachers. In urban settings, the time may be as much as two or three years.


There may be a solution-parachute teachers. An enterprising organization has created this cleverly named group consisting of community professionals that metaphorically parachute or drop into schools that are in need of a substitute teacher. In a paradigm shift away from status quo, instead of following the lesson plans, they share from their real-life experiences, essentially turning the classroom into a job fair or an opportunity to shadow a professional. These are engineers, doctors, lawyers, artists, accountants-all professionals who are eager to create an opportunity for learning instead of a lost day and wasted experience.


And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.

Mark 1:22 (ESV)


The Jewish people and authorities were dumbfounded and astounded by the teachings of Jesus Christ. He did not teach as their usual teachers but as His friends and foes acknowledged, He taught with authority and did not intend to follow the status quo. He did not quote other rabbis and scribes. He elevated God’s teachings to its proper pinnacle. He came to fulfill the Law, to show all of us that it is impossible by our own efforts to live a perfect sinless life, to live a life up to God’s standards. The only way to accomplish this is to acknowledge and turn away from our sinful behavior and ask Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior.


There is no substitute for Jesus Christ! He is the Supreme teacher and the ultimate parachute, sent down from Heaven by God the Father, to be our Savior and only pathway to everlasting life!




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

Precision and Accuracy (2 Peter 1:20-21)

Accuracy and precision.


These everyday terms are sometimes used interchangeably in casual conversation but there are important distinctions with direct applications in science and medicine. Accuracy refers to how close the desired value is to a known or standard value. Precision refers to the range or scatter of values, how close two or more values are to one another.  High precision will have data points that are tightly grouped. The diagram below elegantly illustrates the similarities and differences.

Source Antarctic

Can these terms be applied to the Bible? The Bible is many things for believer and seeker alike. It is a great work of literature, a historical account of dozens of nations and groups of peoples, and a book of prophecy. All prophets and their prophecies must be held to an extremely high standard. If not precise and accurate, it is no better than an astrological horoscope or a street corner palm reader; just flip a coin. Can the Bible withstand this type of scrutiny?


The Bible gives us at least 300 passages, written over a period of thousands of years, that all point to at least 60 prophecies concerning Jesus Christ. The probability that one man would fulfill all of these prophecies is very unlikely. But what is this number? If only eight of these prophecies were fulfilled by one man, the odds are 1 x 10*28. What about all 60 prophecies? The odds are a staggering 1 x 10*157! For those who are counting, this number is larger than the number of particles in the known universe!

Reference Dr. Stoner


…Knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

2 Peter 1:20-21 (ESV)


Don’t believe this? Investigate the evidence for yourself. Every believer in Jesus Christ has done this. If you are truly seeking the Truth, ask God to reveal it to you. I promise you that God will answer your prayers and you will be convinced that only the Bible is always precise and accurate because it is God’s Word!


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