“This Is Who She Is” (Isaiah 53:6)

“Dad! Honey pooped on the rug again!”


My daughter rolled her eyes as she cleaned up her dog’s mess on the rug. “I don’t know what is going on with her, she’s been acting very strangely recently.”


I nodded. “It’s probably me, sweetheart. She gets anxious around me and other men. Even if she doesn’t see me, she can hear or smell me and she is afraid, and when this happens, she responds in the only way she knows how. This is who she is.”


My daughter reluctantly agreed and cleaned up the mess. As I left her, I reflected upon my own behavior. I have taken many personality tests, all confirming the traits I have always suspected about myself. It is remarkable, that with only a few screening questions, how accurate these tests are, even predicting how I will respond to stressful situations. It is no different than my daughter’s dog, I lamented.


All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way…

Isaiah 53:6 (ESV)


In spite of the insistence of mainstream science that we are the epitome of a successful outcome of evolution, superior to all other animal species, we are still animals. Jesus often likens man to sheep, predictably wandering off into dangerous situations, even when we should know better. Like sheep, we need a shepherd, a protector who will guide, direct, and protect us, but unlike sheep, we do not behave purely by instincts, we have the ability to consciously choose our shepherd and break free of the hideous chains of sin and instinctual behavior.


For years, I accepted the results of these personality profiles, resigning myself to this is how I was born, it is programmed in my genes. It is true that we all inherit certain tendencies to personality types, but these are not immutable. I learned that when I confessed and repented of my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. For the first time, I began to see a different, better way of responding to situations, acting in a way that did not immediately answer to my base instincts but instead, slowly transformed and conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. My personality was changing because I was willing to be led by the Great Shepherd, Jesus Christ, instead of following my sheep-like tendencies.


That’s who I was and with Jesus Christ, this is who I hope to become.


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



“Show Me Your Glory!” (Exodus 33:18-19)

The cool breezes caressed my face as I gazed out through the sweeping vista, greeted with lush hues of green, yellow, and blue. This was Waimea Canyon on the island of Kauai, Hawaii- the Grand Canyon of the Pacific! It was the second time I was able to see this and I was soaking in every second, relishing the grandeur and the glory. The first time was when I was 8 years old and all I desired was to go to the beach. My parents were determined to expose me to this natural wonder and after spending the obligatory few moments demonstrating to them that I was fulfilling my familial duties, I asked, “How much longer do we have to stay here?” Nearly 30 years later, I was viewing the canyon with my wife and it was truly the first time for both of us. It was the same canyon but I had changed. I now appreciated the times of reflection. I craved opportunities to travel. And I was thankful to share this moment with my wife. It was a glorious day, the way God intended His Creation to be enjoyed.


Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.

Exodus 33:18-19 (ESV)


There are many times, especially in deep contemplation or prayer, when I have uttered this same request to God. Each time I ask, it is in the expectation that God will answer me in the manner I am accustomed to and want Him to answer. Yet, God’s Ways are not our ways. He always answers my prayers, but not always to my expectations. Like the querulous 8-year-old who did not appreciate the glory of the Waimea Canyon, I grow impatient and my faith waivers; my attention and devotion to Him erodes. I needed to change.


In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.

Acts 14:16-17 (ESV)


God continues to show His Glory to me in many different ways, but like so many times in my past, I am sometimes not ready to accept or understand His Goodness. Like the glory of the Waimea Canyon, the Glory of God has never changed, I did.


Praise God for His continued grace and mercy in my life


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


50% Of The Time (Hebrews 11:1-3)

A comedian recently issued this tongue in cheek summary of prayer. He recalled his experiences as he prayed to a well-known actor, one whom he admired because of the tough-guy roles he played. After a few months, he noticed that the percentage of prayers that were answered by this actor were about the same as the percentage when he used to pray to God-about 50% of the time. The same outcome occurred when he prayed to an inanimate object, like the moon or sun. His conclusion, pray to anyone or anything that makes you happy because, in the end, it doesn’t matter what is the object of your faith.


If one’s definition of faith is based upon how prayers are answered, then all one has done is create a straw man, easily knocked over and debunked. God is not a cosmic bellhop, only existing to grant our wishes, and faith is not measured by the percentage of how many times prayers are answered, but if not, then what is faith?


Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

Hebrews 11:1-3 (ESV)


God very clearly gives us the definition of faith. It is far more complex and beautiful than keeping a tally of how many times prayers are answered.


These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.

Hebrews 11:13 (ESV)


If even the great saints of the Bible died without receiving the things they prayed for and were promised by God, it should give us all pause to consider what faith really means. Faith is not limited to what we experience only in this lifetime, it is for eternity. It was from this different perspective that the great saints were able to persevere in their faith in God. It was this greater vision that they were able to endure suffering, torture, and even martyrdom to receive the promises of God. They were assured that this life was simply a preparation for an eternity of everlasting fellowship with a loving and merciful God.


This is true faith and this is why it matters that we place it in a living God, Jesus Christ, who grants salvation and eternal life to all who confess and repent of their sins and confess Him as their Lord and Savior.


The only true faith is to believe in Jesus Christ, 100% of the time.


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



Breathe Through Your Legs (Mark 8:22-25)

“So we don’t hold him too tightly or he will suffocate!”


The magnificent falcon was perched on the trainer’s gloved arm. At this close proximity, I observed the nasal orifices on its beak were perforated, allowing me to completely see through it. “He injured his beak a few years ago. Cocaine abuser!” We snickered with the trainer. Falcons and most birds do not have diaphragms like most air-breathing animals. Instead, the air enters through the nasal orifices and is directed into the lungs. Through an intricate series of physiologic connections, the air is then channeled to air sacs and hollow bones, allowing for immediate access of the air to the vital organs.


“A few months ago, he was sick so he needed oxygen. Because his nasal orifice was damaged, we had to hook up the breathing device through his bones. He was breathing through his legs!”




I marvel at the biological diversity of God’s Creation. Humans are just one part of God’s beautiful and diverse landscape of life, replete with its staggering biological diversity.


…And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him.  And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?” And he looked up and said, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.” Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.

Mark 8::22-25 (ESV)


The Gospels record many miraculous healings that Jesus performed. In this miracle recorded in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus takes several extraordinary steps to heal a man of his blindness. He spit on his eyes, laid hands on his eyes, then laid his hands on him again. Critics and scoffers claim that Jesus was not powerful enough to initially heal the man. Let’s examine the situation from the opposite premise. Jesus is God and could instantly heal the man of his blindness.  In other healings, Jesus instantly healed their physical afflictions. Why then did He choose to do it in steps for this man? This remarkable and beautiful example illustrates the sensitivity that God has for our biological diversity. Jesus perceived that this man needed to be slowly led from darkness into light. It was a personalized transformation, physically and spiritually tailored for that man.


Like the complexity of the falcon’s breathing system, God created and endowed us with a complex biology. God honors and embraces our biological diversity. He heals some by His voice and words alone, others He heals by His touch. We are all in different stages of physical and spiritual development. He sees beyond our pain and suffering and seeks to heal us in the most powerful and meaningful manner that resonates at the deepest level of our individuality, our biological diversity and personality.


All praise to the Living God!


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







“What Would You Do With This Information?” (Genesis 9:18-19)

The mapping of the human genome has revolutionized our understanding of the complexities of life. In just a few years, scientists are now able to understand the functions of many genes and map the genetic abnormalities for dozens of diseases. Several entrepreneurial companies have capitalized on the knowledge and offer a personalized genomic analysis that predicts the likelihood of certain racial backgrounds in one’s bloodlines.


Because of my medical background and laboratory specialty as a pathologist, I am more familiar with the nuances of the testing and I am frequently asked by friends and patients about the usefulness of such testing. While I can directly address the technical aspects of the testing, I always present the same query to the person posing the question, “What would you do with this information?”


The answers vary from a shrug and sheepish admission that they are only curious to a more deliberate reply. Some are genuinely searching for their cultural identity because they were adopted. Others, proud of their bloodlines and family trees, wish to verify their racial purity. Still, others wish to feel a connection with other races and cultures because of their spouses and friends. In some instances, disappointment and even resentment results when the truth of their bloodlines is revealed.


The sons of Noah who went forth from the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.) These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the people of the whole earth were dispersed.

Genesis 9:18-19 (ESV)


Most of us want to discover our origins. After the Flood, all races and nations arose from the three sons of Noah. Dispersing throughout the earth, the diversity we see today began with this initial migration. Before the Flood, the Bible states that Noah is a direct descendant of Adam. The same genetic testing that has led to so many major breakthroughs in medicine and bloodlines now also strongly suggests that there is an ancestral Adam and Eve from which all humans arose. Imagine that! Science has finally caught up to the Truth of the Bible! Regardless of our motives, the Bible shows us the Truth that all of mankind is related to one another. What should we do with this information? We all need to recognize that God created us to have fellowship with Him by confessing and repenting of our sins and accepting His Son, Jesus Christ, as Lord and Savior. We are all related to one another and it should motivate all of us to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to all peoples.


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


“Faster And Slower” (Acts 16:6-10)

The other day I received a letter from my former partner of the laboratory which we owned. The trust that was set up two years ago to oversee the sale and complete liquidation of our former company was being terminated. On the advice of our attorney, all the partners were in agreement that it was unlikely there would be any further legal or accounting services. In this letter, my partner thanked me for my contribution to the venture. He also recounted how this enterprise consumed most of his professional and personal life.


As I reflected on his statement, I reminisced about those formative years in my professional and personal life. It was my first job after residency and fellowship and I eventually became a partner and owner. For 14 years, I absorbed the insights from my fellow partners, gaining valuable experience and wisdom to manage a laboratory business and adroitly deal with personnel and ticklish professional issues. Perhaps the most important lesson I learned, one which I use nearly every day in my own laboratory is this. I have learned to make decisions faster and slower than ever before.


By nature, I can be quick and deliberate in making a decision. While this has generally served me well, especially when an urgent or critical situation arises, at times, it is impetuous, leading to decisions that I have regretted. Had I waited a few hours or days to gather additional information, I would have been better served and a wiser choice may have been made. I have learned to better discern between situations needing an immediate response and those requiring introspective reflection. I have learned patience, acting slower, and I have still had a very long journey ahead of me.


And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas.  And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”  And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

Acts 16:6-10 (ESV)


The Book of Acts recounts the exciting years of the nascent Christian Church after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Luke, the good physician and traveling companion to the Apostle Paul, records an interesting and insightful series of episodes during their missionary journeys. In spite of their earlier plans, the Holy Spirit intervenes and prevents them from speaking in the regions of Phrygia and Galatia nor entering the region of Bithynia. Yet, the Holy Spirit redirects them to Macedonia to respond to an urgent request.


Luke does not record the emotions either of them were feeling when the Holy Spirit intervened in their travels. If I was there, I know I would be frustrated. Why are you stopping me, God? Isn’t this what You called me to do? But Macedonia is hot and humid!  Thanks be to God that His ways are not our ways. The Apostle Paul and Luke learned an important lesson to be patient and discerning when obeying God’s commands.


Faster and slower.


When obeying God, there is only one pace of decision making. Here I am, Lord, send me.


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



Bunch (Genesis 2:23)

“Hey, Bunch…is the rice ready?”


“I’ll check.” The young wife smiled as she attended the rice cooker. I was the dinner guest of a young couple in the church I was attending. They had been married for three years and had a baby daughter. Throughout the dinner preparation, they winked and cooed with each other, still honeymooning!  I appreciated them taking the time to share their hospitality with me in spite of their busy schedules.


“Bunch, we’re ready for the salad.”


Bunch? What an odd pet name for his wife, I thought, and then it all became clear.


“Thanks, Honey!”


Honey…Bunch. Yes, affection dripping and slathered in unabashed frosting. It was almost enough to send someone into a diabetic sugar coma. After I got over my initial sarcastic musings, my face broke out into a grin as I observed this couple with growing admiration. They were modeling an ideal marriage. I sincerely hoped they would always remain this way and someday, I, too, would be able to experience the kind of marriage that God created all of us to enjoy.


…This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

Genesis 2:23 (ESV)


The Christian commentator Matthew Henry wrote, “…the woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.”


God established the covenant of marriage. It is a sacred bond between a man and a woman. I have been blessed by God to bring a woman into my life, to be a helpmate, to be my wife. We are two different people, different personalities. We have our disagreements, we struggle with our own desires, but God knew this and still brought us together for a purpose-to bring glory and honor to His Name by honoring each other as one, united in matrimony.




Thank you, God, for blessing me with the Bunch of my life.


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


Could I Live Here? (Psalms 133:1)

I love to travel and visit new cities. After a few days of immersing myself in the atmosphere and culture of the city, I ask myself, “Could I live here?” Perhaps it is premature and naive to think that a few hours or days in a completely foreign city would be enough to assist me in making a decision that could radically change my life. There are several cities that have captured my heart and the reasons are as varied as the locations. Some cities beguile me with stunning scenery, others entice me with delectable food, and a few envelop me with its rich history.


Yet, there is one critical element that must be present in every city before I will even consider it making it my home. Having lived in four different states in America and visited over a dozen countries, I can emphatically state that it was always the people I met in each city that was the tipping point. I would never limit it to a casual encounter with a stranger or a random interaction with a tour guide or hotel concierge. No, these are too contrived, too artificial. What mattered were real conversations, the sharing of life experiences and shared aspirations. These transcended any language or cultural barriers and vividly transformed the city into a home.


Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!

Psalms 133:1 (ESV)


God used a Korean-American man to bring to me to Him. We were polar opposites in our culture and worldviews. I was an atheist, he was a devout Christian. He was a first generation Korean-American, I was a third generation Japanese-American. Yet, God brought us together and after moving to three different states, I later returned to Southern California where I now live. There were many reasons but an important one was the lasting friendship I made with this brother in Jesus Christ.


Could I live here?


It does not matter where I live, so long as I have brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ.




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



“The Lowest 10%” (Luke 18:11-14)

A sales and marketing pundit was promoting his latest book, expounding on ideas that could accelerate sales for companies. “Look at your customer list and identify the customers that are in the lowest 10% of sales. You need to honestly assess why sales are lagging and address these issues. Is it because of pricing? Was it a forgotten incident that soured the relationship with their staff? Do you need to spend more time with their purchasing managers? It will take a lot of honest searching.”


These were all good suggestions but limited by one glaring flaw, the analysis was only from our point of view. Although we all attempt to be honest with our faults and limitations, we may be unwilling or even unable to see all the reasons why we disappoint or fail our customers. I am never as bad as I think I am. Others can be quick to expose my flaws, but they must be wrong.


…”The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Luke 18:11-14 (ESV)


For years, I lived in a similar bubble within my relationship with God. Even when I read this Bible passage I was so self-assured that I couldn’t be as hypocritical in my behavior as the Pharisee. I attend Church; I read the Bible; I pray. Blah, blah, blah. I did all these things except the one thing that really mattered, humble myself before God and realize the depth of my depraved and sinful nature.


Alone, there is nothing in me to make me worthy or good enough to stand before God. There is not 10% goodness in me or even 1%. There is nothing. I am a sinner, rebelling against the God who loved me so much that He gave His life for me. Only when I truly confessed and repented of my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior did I begin to understand that my worth, my goodness, can only come from God and my relationship with Him. God accepts me as His adopted son through my relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ.


Thanks be to God that He alone is worthy and He imparts His grace and mercy to me through belief and faith in His Son, Jesus Christ!


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



My Retirement Plan (Proverbs 1:19)

​In two metal trunks in my garage are hundreds of comic books, carefully and neatly wrapped in plastic bags. This was my childhood hobby, rummaging through swap meets, purchasing the newest issues at the local drug store, even attending comic book conventions. I loved the stories but truthfully, it was the visions of untold riches that swirled through my mind as I witnessed the unprecedented rise in the value of several of my titles. At the top of the list was the story of Action Comics #1, the debut of Superman in 1938. Originally selling for 10 cents, by the time I began collecting in the 1970’s, news headlines trumpeted the sale of one mint condition issue selling for nearly $50 thousand dollars. Although most of my collection was from the 1960’s, it was already worth substantially more than when I first purchased the issues. If I could carefully preserve these issues in plastic bags, like all serious collectors, I could someday sell them and comfortably retire.


Yes indeed, and then reality intervened.


Pundits cite the years between 1993-1996 as the collapse of the comic book market. The reasons are complex ranging from the generation of numerous titles with confusing storylines, oversupply of first edition issues catering to nascent and veteran collectors, the exodus of key artists and writers to startup independent cult publishers, and the bankruptcy of one of the major comic publishers. The end result was the collapse of the extraordinary rise of the comic book market leaving many shattered dreams.


It was the classic description of a bubble. From the original tulip mania of the 1600’s, comic books, real estate, the Dot.com craze, to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies-every few years, a new bubble and trendy investment strategies emerge and the end result is always the same, a collapse and fortunes wiped out. There are certainly a few fortunate individuals who were able to time each market and sell at the top. The rest, including myself, were left with nearly worthless possessions. Most of the comic books I own are worth a fraction of their peak price.


Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain; it takes away the life of its possessors.

Proverbs 1:19 (ESV)


I still own my comic book collection and occasionally wistfully view it. It was supposed to be my passport to happiness and a successful early retirement. Instead, it is exactly what it was created to be, entertaining reading printed on cheap paper. It was several years later that God entered into my life and led me to confess and repent of my sins and accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. God showed me a better way to plan for my retirement, by placing my faith and trust in Him, the Word of God, not in the words of a comic book.


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