Hump Day (Ephesians 5:15-17)

“Happy Hump Day!”

My co-workers flashed a thumbs up as they greeted me. It was Wednesday morning, the middle of the week. But everyone says hump day, we can be different. On that Wednesday morning, instead of the usual greeting, I told them, “Happy Dromedary Day! Double D!“


A dromedary is a one-humped camel, distinguished from a Bactrian, which is a two-humped camel. Here is a photo of a dromedary to illustrate the obvious point. 

Source: Wikipedia

One popular quote accurately captured the feeling. “Hump Day. Not as depressing as Monday, not as exciting as Friday.” Regardless of whether we work in a job, are a student, or even retired, there will be days that may seem mundane, even grinding. While we may try to add a humorous twist and whimsical labels, this is just a band-aid. What is a godly response when we feel this way?

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 

Ephesians 5:15-17 (ESV)

The great preacher, Charles Spurgeon, gave this practical advice. “Serve God by doing common actions in a heavenly spirit, and then, if your daily calling only leaves you cracks and crevices of time, fill them up with holy service.” Our attitude determines our actions. When we seek to understand the will of God in our lives, seemingly routine and mundane activities will take on a new life. It is no longer a grind, attempting to get over a metaphorical hump, it is an opportunity to become closer to God.

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (ESV)


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

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“He Sings Gospel Songs!” (1 Corinthians 4:4-5)

I was listening to the familiar strains of “Amazing Grace” with a friend. It was a beautiful interpretation and rendered even more special since it was performed by a well-known pop singer. After the last note, we both nodded in agreement over the superb interpretation. My friend smiled and declared, “He sings gospel songs! I know he is very religious and a Christian.”

I respected my friend’s observation. Yes, this artist did record an album of gospel songs but very little of the rest of his life suggested that His relationship with God was important. My friend’s observation was not unique. Others have reached the same conclusion when they hear other entertainers perform a gospel song or a song praising God. It is admirable and refreshing to hear popular singers singing Christian songs, however, singing a Christian song does not make one a Christian, any more than attending church makes one a Christian. 

What about the converse? If a committed Christian believer sings a popular secular music song, does that imply they are not a Christian? While only God knows the true faith and commitment of each believer, singing a secular song does not automatically make a Christian a non-believer, any more than attending a basketball game makes one a basketball fan. Yet, there is an important caveat.

Many years ago, I attended a church that advocated a restrictive view regarding the type of music to which its members should listen. Some members, including myself, found the guidelines to be harsh and Puritanical. However, it did cause me to carefully reflect upon my own choices and after much prayer, I realized that I had been careless with the music to which I was listening. Many of the songs contained lyrics that were undeniably ungodly. It did not matter if other Christians sang these songs. God was speaking to me and He was the only one to whom I was accountable. I needed to change.

My conscience is clear, but that doesn’t prove I’m right. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide. So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time—before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due. 

1 Corinthians 4:4-5 (NLT)

In this passage, the Apostle Paul was answering his critics who were questioning his credentials and qualifications as a minister of Jesus Christ. Rather than directly arguing with them, he pointed to Jesus Christ, the only true Judge qualified to examine his heart and true motives. Like Paul, I needed to come before my Lord, Jesus Christ, and admit that I was being ignorant and insensitive with my choice of music.

If I am willing to obey, God will bring to light all of my secret sins and reveal my true motives. His Word is the sword of Truth that cuts through my soul and spirit. 

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

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Telephone (Matthew 16:5-12)

“Sally! How are you?”

“I’m good! Listen, sorry to call you on a weekend but I need to speak to you about something. You know our dermatology community is very small and tight and I have been hearing things that were quite alarming and I needed to talk to you about it.”

Sally was a dermatology colleague who occasionally used me as her dermatopathologist consultant. Most of our phone interactions dealt with mutual patients and diagnoses that I have made. I was not expecting this. “What’s going on?”

“I am hearing from some colleagues that you want to hire away my dermatopathologist. You know, I have spent a great deal of time building my practice and we have a really good group now. If you did that, it would really hurt us.”

“Wait, what?” I was flabbergasted. “Sally, that is the exact opposite of what is happening.” I explained to her that I reached out to her dermatopathologist colleague who had recently completed her dermatopathology fellowship and had been hired by Sally’s dermatology group. I reasoned that she may know of other younger dermatopathologists who may be interested in joining my practice. In addition, this dermatopathologist’s husband and father were both surgical pathologists and through their expanded network, may also know of someone who may join my practice. At no time did I attempt to solicit her dermatopathologist to join my practice. Somehow, my intentions and message were misconstrued. I was hopeful my explanation would mollify her anxiety.

“I see. Well, next time you do something like this, I wish you would contact me first and ask my permission. I really don’t appreciate what you did.”

“But Sally! There was no reason to contact you because I wasn’t attempting to hire away your dermatopathologist. As I told you, I was seeking her help in connecting me to her network. I can even forward my text messages to her documenting the entire exchange. I would never do that to you and undermine your practice! I don’t know the source of who told you this but you really need to go back and question that person because nothing could be further from the truth.”

After I got off the phone, I was left with an uneasy feeling. Even though I thought I thoroughly and honestly explained what happened, this dermatologist colleague was convinced that my motives were less than honorable. Through various unknown communications, my message was twisted and distorted into something malevolent. I have been down this road before. Even when I produced a paper trail documenting all my discussions with another party, somehow my message was misinterpreted with a similar outcome that I just experienced with my dermatologist colleague. It was the childhood game of telephone, except the stakes were much higher. 

Nearly every conflict is due to lack or miscommunication. The Bible records such an example. 

Later, after they crossed to the other side of the lake, the disciples discovered they had forgotten to bring any bread. “Watch out!” Jesus warned them. “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” At this they began to argue with each other because they hadn’t brought any bread. Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said, “You have so little faith! Why are you arguing with each other about having no bread? Don’t you understand even yet? Don’t you remember the 5,000 I fed with five loaves, and the baskets of leftovers you picked up? Or the 4,000 I fed with seven loaves, and the large baskets of leftovers you picked up? Why can’t you understand that I’m not talking about bread? So again I say, ‘Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’” Then at last they understood that he wasn’t speaking about the yeast in bread, but about the deceptive teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. 

Matthew 16:5-12 (NLT)

There are no higher stakes than our eternal destiny and relationship with God, our Creator. The words of Jesus Christ and the Bible have been misinterpreted, twisted, and distorted. At times, it was an innocent misunderstanding, like this example with the disciples. However, at other times, Jesus’ words were taken out of context and used against Him, even as evidence in the sham trial that led to His Crucifixion. 

In life, our messages may be misinterpreted or twisted and the result may be a lost business relationship. With God, if we misinterpret or ignore His message, our salvation is at stake. When God speaks, it is always to draw us into a closer relationship with Him. Watch out! Don’t fall into the trap of superimposing your interpretations over the absolute Truth of God’s Word.


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

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Confidence In Large Numbers (James 2:19)

In medicine, when a clinical study is examining a new treatment for patients, there needs to be a sufficient number of patients to be included in the study, otherwise, there may not be statistical power to claim efficacy for the treatment. Statisticians use complicated formulas to determine the proper threshold of patients to achieve statistical significance. In short, the more patients one can enroll in study, the greater the likelihood the results will be statistically significant and relevant, and not a random chance occurrence. There is greater confidence in larger numbers and participants.

A similar principle may exist with some of our daily activities and choices. We may feel comforted and reassured when we know many others are also participating or doing the same actions as we are, such as aligning with certain political parties or following certain sports teams. What about our spiritual lives? One may feel reassured to attend a large and popular church, especially if one’s friends and family attend. One may feel reassured if one was raised in a Christian family. One may even feel more reassured if one has read the Bible and taken advanced religion classes with others. However, even if we join other Christians who participate in these activities, is it relevant? Do these larger numbers equate with salvation?

You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.

James 2:19 (NLT)

No one knows how many demons exist, but undoubtedly thousands upon thousands. Demons are fallen angels who were banished from Heaven when Satan fell. Demons obey Satan and also know that God exists but they do not believe that God is their Lord and Savior. If there was a true safety in mere numbers, then knowing about God and associating with others who know Him would be sufficient for salvation. Yet even the demons know who God is and they are not saved. 

Larger numbers may be important for medical clinical trials and social activities but with Jesus Christ, the only number that matters is one-YOU. Have you confessed and repented of your sins and accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?

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

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Organizer (Job 12:7-10)

Books. Stickers for use. Rulers. Science stuff.

I was looking at a large desk organizer, perched on my desk at home. There were twenty four slots and each was identified with a sticker label, describing the contents of each slot. The categories and labels were created by my daughter over fifteen years ago. This was once her organizer and once I acquired it, I placed my papers in each slot. However, I never changed the stickers even though it had no association with the papers I now placed in it.

I reflected upon the categories she made. I recalled a time in my life, about the same age she was when she created this, when I labeled a similar organizer. My categories were not dissimilar from hers! Decades later, I have created a similar filing system in my office. Although my categories have changed, the desire for organization is the same. The complexity of the categories and organization are a direct reflection of our lives at different stages of development. 

It is instructive that the Bible gives numerous examples of efficient principles of organization. God created the universe in an orderly progression, one that is still being verified by modern scientists. The complexity of the creation speaks to the even greater complexity of the Creator. Antony of Padua, a priest from the 13th century, wrote, “If created things are so utterly lovely, how gloriously beautiful must be He who made them!”

But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you; And the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you. Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you; And let the fish of the sea declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this, In whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind? 

Job 12:7-10 (NASB)

The heavens declare the glory of God. He knows every hair on your head and on everyone who has ever lived or will live. He is the creator of organization and it is not surprising that He is the God of order and not confusion. When we stop and ponder how God’s hand was involved with every living thing, how can we not be in awe of God and bow down before Him and worship Him?

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

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Happy Thanksgiving!

There was a woman who had been diagnosed with a deadly illness and had been given 3 months to live. Her doctor told her to start making preparations to die so she contacted her pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes. She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like to be read, and what she wanted to be wearing. The woman also told her pastor that she wanted to be buried with her favorite Bible. Everything was in order and the pastor was preparing to leave when the woman suddenly remembered something very important to her. 

“There’s one more thing,” she said excitedly. 

“What’s that?” came the pastor’s reply. 

“This is very important.” The woman continued. “I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand.”

The pastor stood looking at the woman not knowing quite what to say. “That shocks you doesn’t it?” The woman asked. 

“Well to be honest, I’m puzzled by the request,” said the pastor. 

The woman explained. “In all my years of attending church socials and functions where food was involved; my favorite part was when whoever was clearing away the dishes of the main course would lean over and say ‘you can keep your fork.’ It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming. When they told me to keep my fork I knew that something great was about to be given to me. It wasn’t Jell-O or pudding. It was cake or pie. Something with substance. So I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder ‘What’s with the fork?’ Then I want you to tell them: ‘Something better is coming so keep your fork too.’ “

The pastor’s eyes were welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the woman good-bye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that that woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She knew that something better was coming. 

At the funeral people were walking by the woman’s casket and they saw the pretty dress she was wearing and her favorite Bible and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over the pastor heard the question, “What’s with the fork?” And over and over he smiled. During his message the pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. The pastor told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either. He was right. So the next time you reach down for your fork, let it remind you, oh so gently, that there is something better coming.


Signals Crossed (Psalms 32:8-9)

My coach quickly touched his hat, then with his right hand, rubbed the sleeve of his left arm, then touched his left ear with his left hand. Got it! He wanted me to fake a bunt. On the next pitch, I assumed the position to bunt and allowed the pitch to pass me by. My coach immediately called a time out and called me over.

“What are you doing? I wanted you to take the next pitch. Why did you try to bunt?”

I was confused. “Isn’t that what you signaled?”

He pursed his lips. “No. We went over this before the game. I thought you understood my signals, that’s why I called you over.”

I was 10 years old and was playing baseball for a local league. Prior to the game, the coach drilled us on a complex set of signals he created. There were different signals for taking a pitch, faking a bunt, swing and miss, and hit away. In order to confuse the opposing team, he added several extraneous signals, giving the appearance of legitimate signals. Yet, he made it clear that if he first touched his hat, it meant to take the next pitch, regardless of whatever signal came after that. Clearly, I got my signals crossed!

I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you. Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding, Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check, Otherwise they will not come near to you. 

Psalms 32:8-9 (NASB)

God promises to instruct and teach us along our pathway to life. At times, He quietly guides us with His eye, gently nudging us in the direction we should tread. However, when we do not understand or reject His directions, He may intervene with stronger measures. Like mastering a wayward horse or mule, He may need to call me over like my baseball coach, to ensure that I follow His instructions. Do I ever get my signals crossed? Absolutely! But it is not God’s fault, but mine alone. 

Praise God for His grace and mercy to all who place their trust in His Son, Jesus Christ. 

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

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Swimming Lessons (Matthew 9:17)

“Team One! Ready….go!”

The familiar sound of water splashing could be heard a block away. I was walking with my mother as she accompanied me to my weekly swimming lessons. In the neighborhood where I grew up, there was a man who gave swimming lessons in his home pool to children. Nearly every child in the neighborhood learned how to swim with Coach Jake. When he eventually retired, unsurprisingly, no one took his place. This was the early 1960’s and a simpler time. If someone were to now replicate what Coach Jake did so many decades ago, they would be inundated with legal paperwork, regulations, and the financial burdens of licenses. Thankfully, no one was ever hurt at these swimming lessons, yet in retrospect, it would have been disastrous. There were none of the usual safety precautions in place that one finds in today’s public pools or fitness clubs. A simpler time, yes, but certainly much riskier. We simply did not know any better of the many hidden dangers. It took years of activism and lobbying before reform occurred. As onerous as some of these current regulatory requirements may appear, many have created a better and safer environment for all. 

And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved. 

Matthew 9:17 (NLT)

When Jesus Christ began His ministry, He taught with an authority and freshness that the Jewish people and leaders had not previously encountered. Some considered His teachings heretical because they were mired in the traditions and teachings of old, unwilling to consider new approaches and interpretations. If these critics and doubters of Jesus Christ had taken the time to study God’s Word, they would have realized that He was fulfilling the prophecies of their ancestors. Jesus was bringing a new wine and it required a new thinking and approach, necessitating new wineskins to receive these teachings. 

There is merit in keeping old traditions and value in adopting new ones. How will we know which to choose? We need to judiciously study God’s Word so we know how to apply it in today’s changing world. The world may change but God’s Word is the same: yesterday, today, and forever. 

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

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Micromanaging (Ephesians 1:4-6)

The last week of June is a tense time for all hospitals involved with the education of medical students, interns, and residents. During this week, the graduating residents have left, and a new group has taken their place. Some have never worked at that hospital, some have never been addressed as Doctor, and all of them have new responsibilities thrust upon them. During this week, it is critical for the residents who have advanced to senior positions to closely supervise and micromanage the activities of their less experienced students and residents. Anything less could lead to disastrous results, including placing the lives of patients at risk. 

Micromanaging sometimes gets a bum rap. In this current business climate, it is perceived as one of the reasons many employees chose to become quiet quitters, unwilling to tolerate such a restrictive work environment. However, as illustrated by the week of transition in teaching hospitals, there are certainly situations when it is critical to be implemented. 

What about our spiritual lives? There is a long debate amongst Christian theologians and scholars over whether we have free will or does God micromanage us? God is omniscient and He knows everything we will do or ever will do. However, that does not mean He is forcing us to do those actions. Foreknowledge does not mean loss of free will. We are still responsible for our actions. As Pastor John MacArthur forcefully stated, “Divine predestination, divine providence, divine power, divine purpose; divine planning does not void human responsibility.”

Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. Ephesians 1:4-6 (NLT)

If we have been saved by the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ, we should welcome the opportunity for God to micromanage us as His adopted children. Left to our own free will, we will choose sin and rebellion because this is our unsaved nature. 

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

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False Flag (Genesis 3:1-5)

As the war between Ukraine and Russia drags on, a phrase that has repeatedly been used is a false flag. Since the beginning of the conflict, there have been accusations that Russia was using false flag operations in Ukraine by producing videos allegedly showing Ukrainian soldiers attacking Russian soldiers, bolstering Russia’s right to invade Ukraine to protect its forces. 

False flags have historically been utilized to disguise and cloak the true intentions of one’s actions by blaming it on another group. Amongst the many variations of this include warships flying the flag of another country to conceal its true identity. It is no surprise that Satan uses the strategy of a false flag in his war against us. He originated this and every deceptive scheme that has ever existed since he is the father of lies. Satan will blame God for the travails of our lives. Satan avers that God is unfair and he is the only true god who will help us!

The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the LORD God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”
“Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”
“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” 

Genesis 3:1-5 (NLT)

Satan cloaks himself under the banner of God’s holiness and attempts to deceive us by stating that God is intending to harm and hinder us. It is the ultimate false flag created by a false god. Do not fall for his nefarious schemes. Cling to the promises that God has given us through faith and belief in Jesus Christ, the one and only true God.


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

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