“You Married Up!” (Revelation 19:7)

It never fails. Whenever I introduce my wife to my friends, after a short period of interaction, they inevitably turn to me, flash a wry smile, and chuckle, “You married up!” Don’t I know it! When I met my wife, I had just recommitted my life to Jesus Christ. For several years, I was in a spiritual wasteland, completely focused upon building my professional career. I gave God spiritual lip service; I knew the right things to say to the right people. My future wife impressed me with her honesty and clarity of her faith. She loved and feared Jesus Christ. Her faith encouraged mine and together we began a journey that continues to this day. I am grateful to God for bringing this godly woman into my life. She makes me a better person.


Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.

Revelation 19:7 (NKJV)


The Bible describes the union of Jesus Christ and His Church as a marriage. He is the Bridegroom and the Church, composed of all Christian believers, is His bride. When I confessed and repented of my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I was blessed with salvation and eternal life. My nature also fundamentally changed. I was now in a spiritual marriage with God. My wife made me a better person. God made me a complete person, defining what my true purpose in life should be. I was no longer selfishly living for myself but living to give glory to God.


“You married up!”


I know…twice!


Praise God for His grace and mercy in my life in saving me and blessing me with my wife.


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


Information Overload (Psalms 94:19)

It is information overload. Overwhelmed by numerous disparate sources, it is difficult to distill the real news about COVID-19 from the noise. Even usually credible sources of information are muddled with a lack of critical fact-checking in an effort to get the latest bit of information out to an anxious public. At work, I struggle to sift through the often conflicting packets of information disseminated by numerous pundits. There are new labor laws that are literally changing by the hour as Congress passes the stimulus packages. There are competing health care guidelines given by local hospitals, the city, the state, the CDC, and the Federal government. 


It is highly unlikely that I will ever be able to intelligently manage all of the information about the current COVID-19 crisis. Even the experts disagree upon the correct treatment because no one has ever dealt with this virus strain, there is simply an insufficient amount of data to make definitive decisions. If the experts disagree, what hope is there for me?


In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.

Psalms 94:19 (NKJV)


The mind-numbing barrage of information has encouraged me to spend more time in silent meditation with God. I need more than an expert to organize the information. I need an omnipotent and omniscient God who is able to show me the path to Truth. Just as God did, nearly forty years ago, when He showed me the straight and narrow path to Truth through faith and surrender to His Son, Jesus Christ, God is working in my life and the life of all believers to guide us to the critical decisions to successfully deal with the current pandemic. 


Information overload only results in more anxiety. God overload always results in comfort for our souls.


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



“Only Last Week?” (1 Timothy 2:1-4)

“Was it only last week? It feels like a month! Events are changing by the minute, I can’t keep up with it.”


I was speaking to one of the vendors for my laboratory. He could not believe that it was only a week ago that we were discussing a mutual supply chain problem. Few events in the history of the world have occurred with such rapidity as the COVID-19 pandemic. The vertigo-inducing pace of the current events is staggering: the closure of cities and entire countries, social distancing, and trillions of dollars spent all to deal with the horrific effects of COVID-19 pandemic with no end in sight. Our leaders give us daily updates but for many, they are either acting too quickly or too slowly, and doing too little or too much. They are in the difficult position of balancing the needs of millions of competing voices, special interests, and working with the rest of the world to coordinate a coherent policy.


In the United States, we are certainly allowed to voice our opinions and disagree with the decisions our leaders make. The internet and social media have certainly facilitated this behavior but too often, it leads to shouting and strife rather than conversation and cooperation. Christian believers have also joined in the clamor, leading to fierce disagreements over how our leaders should govern. However, even if Christians hold competing views with our leaders, all Christians should be committed to praying for all of our leaders and for those who work with them.


First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

1 Timothy 2:1-4 (ESV)


Regardless of one’s political affiliation or preference, we should always be praying for our leaders. Different political parties were in power during the start of the great recession of 2008. I prayed for our leaders then and I pray for our leaders during this current pandemic. Whether it is last week, last year, or ten years from now, God encourages us to pray for our leaders. This does not mean we have to agree with everything they do or say but we should be praying for God to grant them wisdom and discernment to lead our nation.




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


“We Are Making This…” (Matthew 6:3-4)

“What’s this?”


I was picking up my suit from the dry cleaner. As the owner hung my clothes on the rack next to her register, she attached a small plastic bag that contained a gray rectangular square. She looked up and smiled at me. “It is a surgical mask. We are making this and giving it for free to our customers.”


“Oh my! Thank you so much. This is so special!”


“Welcome! See you next time!”


It was a simple and beautiful act of kindness, a surgical protective mask gifted to me during the world-wide pandemic of COVID-19. Just a few months ago, such a gift would have elicited a look of confusion from myself and, undoubtedly, many others. Sometimes it takes a crisis to bring meaning and significance to a gift.


During this COVID-19 crisis, many people have performed acts of kindness for others, many of which are unheralded and unreported. Perhaps only the customers of that dry cleaner would ever know of the act of kindness the owner bestowed upon us, but I was blessed. And God sees everything.


But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

Matthew 6:3-4 (NLT)


We live in a fallen world, disrupted by the corruption of sin. Yet, we are not without hope. God intervenes in this world through numerous acts of kindness that only He sees. God uses crises to bring out the very best in all of us to care for one another with the same grace and mercy that He bestows upon us.




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



“We Thought Someone Else Was Going To Do It!” (Galatians 6:2)

A basket of cases sits in my laboratory designated T.I.Q.-an acronym for Test In Question. This is a laboratory term that designates a specimen that has questionable or incomplete demographic information. The most common reasons include a name discrepancy, insufficient insurance documentation, or questionable medical history. Regardless, the immediate task for the staff is to contact the referring physician’s office and resolve the problem so there is no delay in processing the specimen and delivering it to me so I may render a diagnosis. Thus, it was shocking for me to discover that the basket contained over a week’s worth of T.I.Q. cases. I called a quick meeting of the four employees whose task it was to resolve these cases. I needed to understand how this happened. The answer was revealing. 


“We thought someone else was going to do it.”


It was completely unacceptable. 


In our jobs or in social situations, we may be so consumed with completing our own tasks that if there is a collective group task, we may assume that someone else will get to it. In reality, this is what all of the other people are thinking and unless the task is assigned, it may never be completed. God wisely gives us directions in this sensitive area.


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

Galatians 6:2 (ESV)


In these perilous times of a worldwide pandemic, it is imperative that everyone step up and be willing to go beyond their assigned or perceived tasks and duties to assist one another. The law of Christ is to love the Lord God with all our hearts, mind, soul, and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself. The second follows the first. If we truly love God, we will be more than willing to take another’s burdens out of gratitude to the love, grace, and mercy for what Jesus Christ has done for all believers who have placed their faith and trust in Him. 


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


“Good Morning!” (Proverbs 31:15)

The opening of the garage door stirred me from my sleep. At first, I thought I was still dreaming but after repeatedly groping for my alarm clock, I discovered  the time was 4:15 AM. Was my wife returning home from her office at this hour? I crept downstairs and found her in our home office, busy at the computer and oblivious to my presence. “Good morning! Did you have a nice sleep?”


She looked up and forced a weak smile, “I’ve been working all night on this application for the SBA loan. I had to get all the paperwork ready at my office before I could return home. There are only a finite number of loans available and I need to get mine in as soon as possible.”


I nodded and hugged my wife. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a cataclysmic financial disaster for nearly every business in our country. As a pediatric dentist, my wife was forced to close her practice since it was declared to be at high risk for spreading the virus. The resulting disruption was devastating for her practice, her employees, and her patients. The most recent government financial aid package provides employers with an unprecedented opportunity to apply for an SBA loan so that employers can be completely compensated for the salaries they still needed to pay their employees, even if their business was shut down.  My wife was frantically working to support her practice and employees all while taking care of her family who always needs her. 


She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens.

Proverbs 31:15 (ESV)


Proverbs 31 is sometimes held as the godly standard for a virtuous woman and wife. While laudable, some feel it sets unrealistic expectations for women, particularly professional working women. As my wife labors to complete her many tasks, she does it all without complaining because she knows she is serving God through her roles as a professional woman, wife, and mother. I marvel at her fortitude and resilience for I lack her patience and strength. My faith in God is diminutive compared to hers. It is painfully evident to me that Proverbs 31 should also be the godly standard for all men and husbands.


Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.

Proverbs 31:30-31 (ESV)


I praise my wife and all godly women who fear God and place Him first in their lives. I pray that God will continue to give my wife and all women the strength and wisdom to navigate the unique demands of the modern godly woman. 


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


But What About Later? (Ecclesiastes 11:1-2)

It is a trillion dollars and counting. It is the emergency relief package that the U.S. Congress and the President have approved. All Americans desperately need this financial aid to assist with the havoc that the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is wrecking upon our country. As we seek to flatten the curve of infected individuals, a looming question remains. We need to take these extreme measures now, but what about later? What about 10 months from now when the flu season begins again? What if another new virus or super microbe appears? Do we once again shut down the entire country with social distancing? We cannot do another trillion-dollar stimulus package each time another pandemic strikes.


After each crisis in the United States, a paradigm shift in our national behavior resulted. After 9/11, we tightened our homeland security and airline screening. After the Great Recession of 2008, we undertook a comprehensive banking reform. This current pandemic is a clarion call that our current public health system is strained and creative and forward-thinking is required to address and adequately prepare for future challenges.


Send your grain across the seas, and in time, profits will flow back to you. But divide your investments among many places, for you do not know what risks might lie ahead.

Ecclesiastes 11:1-2 (NLT)


The Bible speaks to the wisdom of planning for the future, especially when times are prosperous. America has some of the greatest scientists and thought leaders in nearly every area of medicine and health care. I don’t have the answers but I join those who are willing to address these issues as we seek to find solutions to deal with the current crisis and plan for the next. Are there uncertainties? Yes. Will there be roadblocks? Most definitely. Will we succeed?

Only if we commit our actions to the Lord.


Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed.

Proverbs 16:3 (NLT)




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



“Thank You For Your Service!” (1 John 3:16)

“Thank you for your service!”


I shook the hand of my resident during his graduation ceremony of our dermatology residency program. Before I met him, he served in the United States Air Force as a flight surgeon. He had performed superbly as a dermatology resident and I was proud to have been a part of his training as a physician, but I was even prouder of his service to our country.


I will always have a special place in my heart for anyone who has served or currently serves in the armed forces or is a first responder. They are ready to sacrifice their lives on our behalf every moment of the day and I am ever grateful to them. I support a charity that addresses the financial needs of these same responders, their families, and veterans. I never take for granted the sacrifices these courageous individuals have made and continue to make on my behalf and all Americans. Their commitment resonates deeply within my soul.


Is it any wonder that I so passionately love my Lord Jesus Christ?


By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.   

1 John 3:16 (ESV)


For many years, I thought Jesus was simply a gifted teacher and a great moral man. I was aware He died on the Cross and allegedly was resurrected from the dead. Yet, why would that be relevant to me? What did it mean that “Jesus died for your sins”? Only after reading the Bible and meeting with a dear Christian brother did God’s plan for my life and all mankind become clear. Jesus Christ willingly laid down His life on my behalf because He loved me. He was willing to endure the full weight of the sins of every person who ever lived or ever will live, imputed upon His broken and tortured Body. By dying on the Cross and resurrected to life three days later, Jesus Christ conquered death. Sin could no longer separate anyone from God, His Creator, when they confess and repent of their sins and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. It was the perfect act of love and it resonated deeply within my soul.


We love because he first loved us.

1 John 4:19 (ESV)


I praise and thank God for the bravery of our armed forces and first responders. I pray that God will continue to protect all of them and give comfort and peace to their families that support them.


Lord Jesus, thank you for your service and sacrifice for all humanity. You died for me when I deserved it the least.




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


“Do Not Try To Study Ignorance!” (Proverbs 14:7)

Several years ago, my manager from a previous laboratory and I were discussing the importance of following established protocols. He was lamenting the fact that not only were protocols not being followed, sometimes new protocols were literally being created on the spot by random individuals, without the approval of management. As he expressed his frustration, he declared out loud, “Why are they doing this?”


I chuckled and dismissively shook my head as he quickly added, “But let me tell you the wisest thing anyone ever said to me!”


“Do tell!”


As I was complaining about this situation out loud, one of my couriers in the same room spoke up and offered this witticism, “Do not try to study ignorance!”


A voice of reason in the din of mediocrity! Give this man a promotion!


“You should have made him supervisor of your couriers!” I laughed.


“No! He is waaay too smart to accept that position. He is content and happy to remain in the position that he is in. He knows there is too much frustration trying to manage other people!”


We both smiled, agreeing with his wisdom. It is relevant for company employees who create their own protocols, contradicting their managers and supervisors. It is relevant for those who ignore government warnings during a pandemic and violate social distancing.  It is a modern-day proverb, built upon the wisdom of the following verses from the Bible written thousands of years ago.


Stay away from fools, for you won’t find knowledge on their lips.

Proverbs 14:7 (NLT)


Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are. 

Proverbs 26:4 (NLT)

The word “fool” appears many times in the Bible. While it can mean many disparaging things, it is often the result of sinful pride, arrogance and ignorance. A fool thinks that their way is the best, often blinding them to all other options. Even if one can logically and concisely explain why their actions are wrong, a fool will ignore it and stubbornly cling to their opinion.


The Bible’s lessons for life are eternal and unchanging because ignorant people, unwilling to listen to the voices of authority and wisdom, will always remain. It is our sinful nature that leads to ignorance. I was no different. It cannot be reasoned with or explained away. Only by acknowledging God as the source of all wisdom was I able to finally break the pattern of my foolish behavior and understand the cause of my ignorance.


Do not try to study ignorance!




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


“I’m Going To Do It Anyway!” (Matthew 14:28-31)

His silver head of hair seamlessly blended with his beard and mustache, framing his wrinkled face. He was only five foot three inches tall and weighed less than a hundred fifty pounds. He was not much larger than I was but there was one critical difference. He was a sixth-degree black belt, one of the senior instructors of the judo club where I trained, and I was his hapless opponent.


We began a session of practice sparring and he called upon me to challenge him. He had a well-deserved reputation of being particularly harsh on new students. As an eight-year old yellow belt, I perfectly fit that description. I bowed before him and as I raised my head, he quickly grabbed my gi (uniform). I reflexively stiffened my body, naively thinking this would stave off his advance.


“Why are you resisting me?”


“Because you are going to throw me!”


He laughed, “I’m going to do it anyway!” And with that, he dropped to his back, thrust his right leg into my belly, and proceeded to throw me over his supine body. Thump! I crumpled upon the padded mats.


“Get up! Try it again!”


My pride was bruised more than my body. I readied myself but reverted to my stiffened defense.




“When you make yourself stiff like that, you make it easy for your opponent to attack. You cannot defend yourself when you do this!”


I was allowing my fears to paralyze me and not listen to the wisdom my teacher was attempting to impart to me. I lost my focus.


Facing my fears.


And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Matthew 14:28-31 (ESV)


The disciples of Jesus all witnessed Him walking on the water while a storm was raging all around them. When they realized it was their Lord, the Apostle Peter spoke up and boldly asked Jesus to allow him to walk on the water. He was initially successful but Peter was distracted by the storm and Peter’s faith faltered and he began to sink.


I would never progress in my study of martial arts until I learned to face my fears. So too, in my spiritual walk with God, every moment is a spiritual battle with Satan. Jesus does not make the storms of life disappear, he leads us through them. Like Peter, if we allow our fears to overwhelm us and take our attention away from God, we will sink and fail. Only by listening to God’s voice and allowing Him to lead us will we be able to conquer our darkest fears. It does not matter if we are seeking to overcome unconfessed sins in our lives or dealing with pandemics, God will always see us through.


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