Take Your Child To Work Day (Colossians 4:2)

The fourth Thursday in April is recognized as the annual, “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.” It is an outgrowth of a program that began in 1993 with parents and their daughters, expanded to include sons in 1993, and given its current name a few years later. Ostensibly, it is an opportunity for working parents to introduce their children to the workplace and understand what their parents do. The deeper lessons are to build the child’s self-esteem, seeing how adults may work together in a variety of ethnically and culturally diverse situations. The program is enormously popular and successful. 


The other week, I was able to experience my own version. My daughter was completing a two-week internship within the pediatrics department of the hospital where I teach my dermatology residents. This amazing program, for which she applied for and was selected, allows graduating high school students the unique opportunity to shadow pediatricians in the in-patient and out-patient settings, rotating through the different specialties such as cardiology, neonatology, and radiology. Many of the past participants have acknowledged this experience as the key motivator for them to pursue a career in medicine and the health care industry. My daughter, likewise, enthusiastically embraced the experience and now intends to pursue a career in medicine.


As a physician and her father, I was elated to share this decision with her. As we shared this special moment, she asked me, “Will I be able to see you at the hospital?”


I frowned. “Unfortunately, I won’t be teaching during the weeks you are there.” 




“But…” quickly cutting her off, “Let me see what I can do.”


After communicating with the chief medical resident in dermatology, we were able to change my lecture schedule and move it up to the following week, when my daughter was still at the hospital. Elated, I informed my daughter there was a change in my teaching schedule and she was welcome to come to my lecture and meet my dermatology residents. 


The following week, my daughter arrived in the conference room, appearing very professional with her white medical coat embroidered with the “Dept. of Pediatrics”. I introduced her and for twenty minutes, she listened to my lecture and spent some time looking at microscope slides at the 11-headed microscope. Finally, she quietly motioned to me and I looked up and said, ”You have to go to the hospital?” She quickly nodded, not wishing to disturb the conference. “All right, have fun.” As she rose to depart, all of my residents sang out a collective “Goodbye” and “Good luck!”


As my daughter left our conference room, I looked up from the microscope and beamed to my dermatology residents. I was not their professor. I was a proud father. “I hope all of you will someday get to experience what I just did. This was a very special moment for me.” Neither I nor my wife ever pushed a career of medicine or any other pathway upon my daughter. We always told her to put God first in everything she does and He will guide her path to the career that He has prepared for her to enter. To see her discover the same joy of serving God through medicine, that I and my wife have experienced, is a long-standing prayer answered, eighteen years later!


Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

Colossians 4:2 (ESV)


Our meeting did not occur on the predetermined national day, but if it were possible, I wish that every day could be a “Take Your Child To Work Day”. It was a proud day for me as my daughter joined me in my workplace but what my residents did not realize that I was even prouder that God was answering my prayers for my daughter’s life. My heart was leaping with joy at that moment as my soul was humbled by the grace and mercy of God.


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


Shadow Of Death (Psalms 23:4)

Shocking and appalling. 


The tragedy of the mass killings in Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton can never be undone. This entire country and the world should come together to support and mourn for its citizens. Sadly, instead of focusing upon the grieving families, political pundits on both sides of the aisle are weaponizing the news to support their causes. No one is willing or capable of recognizing the real problem. We do not have a gun control issue. We do not have a mental health issue. We have a sin issue. No amount of legislation and no political posturing will ever resolve this. 


Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.

Psalms 23:4 (KJ21)


Any moment we exist could be our last moment of life on this earth. In every moment we are walking through the valley of the shadow of death. It is not only when we are going through trials and tribulations. Like the victims in these shootings, evil can emerge in the midst of ordinary activities amongst family and friends. Evil is not defined by race, gender, political affiliation or culture. Evil is present in our hearts. Evil compels some to act out heinous acts of violence and hate. 


How can a kind and loving God allow this to happen? We know evil when we experience it because we know what good is. God has placed His moral nature within us so that our hearts ache and are torn asunder when confronted with such evil. Some have turned their back on God, unwilling to listen to their own conscience and morality, but for most of us, we long for good to overcome evil. We know only good can comfort us. We know this because all good comes from God. God is grieving with all of us. He understands our pain because He allowed this world to torture and execute His only Son, Jesus Christ, for all of the sins and evil in this world. By resurrecting Him from the dead, three days later, God will forever comfort all who place their trust in faith in Jesus Christ.


I pray for all of the victims and their families, the communities they live in, and this entire world which is so torn by the ravages of sin. Let’s seek the good that only God can give us.


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


“It’s Not Reconciling!” (2 Corinthians 5:18-20)

It was perfect. There was only one person ahead of me in the checkout line and they only had a few items. I will be out of here in less than five minutes, I thought. As the checker scanned my items, I knew something was awry. 


“It’s not scanning!”


“What do you mean?”


“It’s not scanning!” the checker repeated. “I’m going to have to call my manager.”


Great, I thought. The manager soon came over and searched through several lists. “It’s not reconciling!”


“What does that mean?”


“It means, “ the manager began, “that this item is not entered into our scanners and our inventory does not have it.”


“But how can that be?” I questioned. “It was on the shelf and…”


“I know!” the manager, interrupted, anticipating my objection. “Sometimes the reconciliation is overlooked or even ignored. The warehouse assumes the shelf stockers party made it right when in reality, both sides were waiting for the other to make the first move. We will investigate and take care of it.”


I have been shopping at this store for years and a relationship has been established. This was clearly an unanticipated flaw in their inventory system and although upsetting, they were willing to investigate and correct the problem, to reconcile their shelf products with their inventory. In so doing, they will gather all involved parties to resolve the misunderstanding.


Friendships are no different. 


When a friend says something hurtful to you, deserved or not, intentional or unintentional, it still stings and hurts. At that point, do I reject the relationship or do I allow a second chance? Like the flaw in the store’s inventory, is reconciliation a simple fix, ensuring that all parties communicate? Is reconciliation always an option or are some relationships beyond repair? 


All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

2 Corinthians 5:18-20 (ESV)


If I reject an opportunity for reconciliation, I deny the very power and authority of Jesus Christ in my life. But what about what they said to others about me? What about that awful thing they did to me?  Me. Me. Me. It is never about me. It is all about Jesus Christ. If I fear the actions of man more than the healing power of the God who created this universe, then my faith is truly minuscule and my God is far too small. 


In God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?

Psalms 56:11 (ESV)




Only I can deny the power of Jesus Christ to reconcile any relationship.




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