“He Knows You!” (1 Chronicles 15:22)

“Hey, Buddy! I can’t believe what a small world this is! I was at a track meet and chatting with my son’s best friend’s grandpa Jake. He is connected to our family on a social media site and he asked me about some guy he keeps seeing in photos with us, YOU! He knows you when you were a resident at the hospital. Wow!”

The text from one of my closest friends intrigued me. The name seemed vaguely familiar and I quickly searched the social media site and found our mutual connection. Yes, we were definitely at the same hospital over thirty years ago. I perused his photos and was chagrined that I did not remember him. Upon further investigation, I learned that he usually worked the graveyard shift in the hospital laboratory. Thus if I did interact with him, it would have only been in the evenings when I was on call. I followed up with my friend who was surprised I didn’t remember him since he said that Jake remembered me very well. 

Regrettably, such exchanges are becoming more frequent. Over the past few years, I have met people who attended the same high school but were a year or two older or younger than me. While I vaguely remembered their names, I could not recall their faces or my interactions with them. However, they apparently remembered me, hopefully fondly. 

Someday in Heaven, I will meet many of the great saints of the Bible. Abraham. Moses. King David. The Apostle Paul. Although I will not recognize their faces, I will certainly know them from what I have read about them in the Bible. I will also meet Chenaniah. Who? Do I know him? He knows me!

Chenaniah, chief of the Levites, was in charge of the singing; he gave instruction in singing because he was skillful.

1 Chronicles 15:22 (NASB)

Chenaniah was in charge of the singers of the Temple, appointed by King David. Many of the psalms that David wrote were put to song and Chenaniah led the choir during times of worship. Like so many of my former acquaintances, I know Chenaniah by name from reading about him in the Bible. It is pure conjecture but perhaps in Heaven he will approach me and say, “I know you. You used to lead worship at your local church. You played many of the songs that I used to lead worship for King David. All these years I’ve been watching you and millions of others who have worshiped our Lord with these same songs. So glad we can finally meet in person!”

It would be wonderful if this could happen. In Heaven, we will all know each other through the grace and mercy of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Even if we cannot remember them in this life or have never ever met them, we will all be united as brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, adopted sons and daughters of God, the Father.

He knows you! 

Indeed, He does!

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

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Now It’s Dog Food! (2 Chronicles 7:13-15)

I was speaking to my sister on the phone when our conversation was interrupted by her doorbell. “Ok thanks, just leave them by the door.” She laughed at the delivery person. “Yeah, I know! Again!”

She returned to our conversation. “Sorry, it was the delivery man bringing us some more dog food.”

“Why? I thought you bought your dog food at the local membership warehouse?”

“Yeah right! No more! There is a national shortage of dog food!”

“I didn’t know!”

First, it was baby food, then eggs, now it’s dog food! What’s next? The supply chain shortages have affected everyone. While the reasons are complex, the solutions are even more challenging. Many of us are left scrambling to compensate for the shortages. The Bible describes many examples of shortages and famines. Like the current shortages, the reasons are complex. Some are due to man’s inhumanity to man such as war. Others are due to natural disasters. However, ultimately, God is enacting His judgment upon our sins. This is not the world God planned for us to live in. We rebelled against Him and chose sin to paradise. It affected everyone. What is the solution? Unlike many of the supply chain problems we currently face, God gives us a definitive answer. 

If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 

2 Chronicles 7:13-15 (NASB)

There are many problems in this world, but there is only one solution. God, through His grace and mercy, is patient with us when we sin and turn away from Him. If we humble ourselves and confess and repent of our sins, He will forgive us and bring healing through faith and belief in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.


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

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Talking To The Dead (Revelation 1:17-18)

The young boy was engrossed in a conversation with his grandmother. She was reading the “Wizard of Oz”, a favorite story of his. It was an endearing moment made even more special since his grandmother passed away a few months earlier. His grandmother was a computer montage created with artificial intelligence (AI) by utilizing earlier videos of her. 

AI is rapidly transforming our lives; it can even enable people to seemingly talk to the dead. There was a recent science fiction series that had an episode based upon this future possibility but it is now a reality for many. 

Source: AI helping users talk to dead loved ones – YouTube

Some may object to this technology, fearful that it may be preying on one’s emotions. There is some truth to this. There are times that I dearly wish I could communicate with loved ones who have passed on-my parents, former business partners, and friends. Like many of us, they live on in our photographs, videos, and memories. How special would it be to interact with them, as if they were still alive? And yet there would always be some regret since I know this is not the real person. Is there a way that we will ever be truly able to talk to the dead? Can we ever bring the dead back to life?

…Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I  was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades. 

Revelation 1:17-18 (NASB)

Thanks be to God that He has given us the glorious answer! I chose to devote my energies to speaking to someone who did die but now lives forever in Heaven, my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is available to everyone, not through AI but by the grace and mercy of God! If we have been saved by Jesus Christ we will all be able to live on in heaven after we die. We will no longer need to attempt to talk to the dead. We will be alive through faith and belief in Jesus Christ. 

This is not artificial. This is the only true reality!

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

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Laminin (Colossians 1:15-17)

This diagram depicts the protein laminin. As a physician and dermatopathologist, I am very familiar with laminin. It is an essential protein found in nearly every cell of the human body. Its function is to provide structural support and assist in cellular interactions. Without laminin, we could not exist. 
Source: Wikipedia.

Several years ago, I was intrigued when I encountered references of laminin to Christianity. As one can see, this model of laminin resembles the Cross. Some Christians reference the indispensable nature of this molecule that holds all cells together and aver that it is a representation of God in nature.

Several pastors and evangelists have used the example of laminin as evidence that “God is leaving His fingerprint as the Creator.” and “Great Designers always leave their marks.” These observations may be true but if later scientific discoveries disprove the structure or ubiquity of laminin, where does this leave the Christian who is convinced of this? All Christian believers must be careful when looking for signs in nature to prove a truth in the Bible. We all look for signs. I certainly do. At times, God does confirm His will with signs in nature. There is the rainbow that God placed in the sky as a promise to Noah and mankind that He will never again destroy the world with a flood. The Bible is replete with many examples.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He  is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 

Colossians 1:15-17 (NASB)

All of Creation is a witness to God’s creative power and omnipotence. We should never berry-pick occurrences in nature as proof of God’s existence. God does not need our help. He created everything for a purpose, to declare His glory and magnificence!

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

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The Old Sage (Job 32:6-9)

“We’re at an impasse. We need help!” 

“You know what we have to do.” 

The three men glanced at each other and nodded in agreement. They trundled off to seek the old man, the sage. Numerous cartoons depict seekers of wisdom desperately scaling steep mountains to reach an old teacher, silently meditating at the summit. Whether in literature or the media, wisdom is often associated with age. There is a general truth with this, but while one usually accumulates more knowledge with age, it does not always equate with greater wisdom. 

The Bible includes a notable exception. When Job was at the height of his suffering, his three “friends” rubbed salt in his wounds by accusing Job of harboring hidden sins and impure motives. Only after days of debate did a younger man, Elihu, speak up and rebuke his three older colleagues and Job.

Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite said, “I am young and you are old, so I held back from telling you what I think. I thought, ‘Those who are older should speak, for wisdom comes with age.’ But there is a spirit within people, the breath of the Almighty within them, that makes them intelligent. Sometimes the elders are not wise. Sometimes the aged do not understand justice.”

Job 32:6-9 (NLT)

Indeed! The younger Elihu chastised his three elder colleagues and convincingly demonstrated that age does not always equate with wisdom. The most beautiful example is provided by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. When he was still a boy, Jesus was in the Temple, asking questions of the leading religious leaders and teachers of the day. Did they rebuke him? Did they chase him away? No! They listened and learned. 

Three days later they finally discovered him in the Temple, sitting among the religious teachers, listening to them and asking questions. All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 

Luke 2:46-47 (NLT)

As I enter my senior citizen years, I am keenly aware that my earthly years are numbered. Have I accumulated a great deal of knowledge? Yes. Have I acquired wisdom? Only by God’s grace and mercy will He allow me this blessing. I pray that I will finish well, using my wisdom and knowledge to show others the glory of God through faith and belief in Jesus Christ. 

Respect your elders and pray that their years of life have resulted in wisdom as well as knowledge.

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

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Not Knowing All The Options (John 11:25-26)

It was our first meeting with our new social worker. Our previous worker had been with our son for nearly 18 years. Our son, who has Down syndrome, was transitioning into programs designed to foster independent living and vocational training for young adults. 

“I have prepared this folder that describes some of the programs that both of you and your son may avail.” Looking at our bewildered expressions, she warmly smiled and said, “I know this is a lot of information but take your time to go through it. Some names have changed and are under different departments but the services they provide are still the same. Anytime you need to talk, I am always available.”

We surveyed a barrage of acronyms. AABA. HCBS. PHP. FCSN. We wanted to avail of her generous offer but the problem was we didn’t know what question to ask since we didn’t know what options were available. It was the unanswerable question, how does one know when one doesn’t know?

The quick answer is we don’t. There are many situations in life in which we do not have enough information to ask the proper question. One solution is to do a deep dive into the problem, hopefully with the assistance of a knowledgeable coach or mentor. With time, our new social worker helped us to navigate this alphabet soup of agencies and programs to find the best programs for our son. 

Some people who are seeking God think they need to have all of their questions answered about Him before they can place their faith in Him. I understand. I felt the same when I was searching for Him. I didn’t understand how to reconcile biology with Christianity. I didn’t understand why I needed God when I seemed to do fine by my own efforts. However, there was one nagging question that I needed to answer. “What happens when I die?” Do I simply cease to exist, returning to the dust from which I was formed? Do I roam the earth as a bodiless spirit? Do I go to heaven, hell or somewhere in between?

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” 

John 11:25-26 (NASB)

After nearly a year of doing a deep dive and searching and reading the Bible, God gave me the answer. Only by accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior will I have the assurance of salvation and eternal life. Jesus sealed this promise with His death and resurrection. I still struggle with many issues, searching for answers and not always knowing the right questions to ask. However, I now have the most important question answered. 

Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life!

Praise God!

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

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Fear The Mascot (Ecclesiastes 12:13)

The colorful banner hung at the entrance of the gym where all could easily view it. 

“Fear The Poet”

Next to the logo was a caricature of a fierce pirate. Undoubtedly, this was a Poet-Pirate, reminding me of the familiar proverb, “The pen is mightier than the sword!” It was an appropriate mascot for this prestigious liberal arts college, known for its excellent education and athletic prowess. 

Every school and athletic team, regardless of level, has a mascot. Many are familiar to the general public such as the Trojans, the Vikings, and the Panthers. Others are more obscure such as mosquitos, anteaters, and wasps. Nearly every animal and object has been utilized. Ostensibly, a mascot represents the qualities of the school or team for which it represents or choses to project. Some do evoke fear but at its core is the objective to inspire respect from others.

The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. 

Ecclesiastes 12:13 (NASB)

This verse appears at the end of the Book of Ecclesiastes. The author of this book, whom many consider to be King Solomon, the wisest man of his day, exhaustively chronicled all of the successes he accomplished in his life. He observed that man may attempt to inspire fear and elicit respect from others by worldly accomplishments. However, in the end, whether it was scientific, literary, or material successes, none of these mattered if one did not first fear and obey God. The Hebrew word for fear may be translated as reverence or to be held in awe or astonishment. This truth is reinforced in another verse from the Bible. 

The LORD is for me; I will not fear; what can man do to me? 

Psalms 118:6 (NASB)

Don’t fear the mascot. 

Fear God!

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

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God Of The Gaps (Genesis 2:19-20)

As a biology major in college, I wrestled with how to reconcile the scientific observations and principles I learned in class with the Truth of God’s Word. I was also frustrated by some Christians who would evoke God as the explanation for everything, failing to acknowledge scientific observations and principles. I did not know it then but I was being confronted with the “God-of-the-gaps” argument. 

This argument implies that any gap in our scientific knowledge can only be explained by God. If some event cannot be explained by natural phenomena, it must have resulted from divine intervention. God fills in the gaps. I viewed the argument as specious. It suppresses the truth and relegates God to the backup argument if science is currently unable to provide an explanation. If science did find an explanation, God would then appear to be fallible, not omnipotent and all-knowing. How could I reconcile science and God without falling into this trap?

During the age of enlightenment and the industrial revolution, mankind was emboldened by discoveries in science that were able to explain many natural phenomena. We later learned how the universe did not always exist but started at a definite point, dubbed the Big Bang. We no longer needed God for explanations, or did we? It is instructive that the Bible recorded that in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. It was not called the Big Bang, it was called Creation! 

So the LORD God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals….

Genesis 2:19-20 (NLT)

God established the Truth from the beginning of His Creation and allowed man to participate in the discovery by allowing him to name each living creature. Understanding God’s Creation is complex and the more we learn, the more we realize there are deeper levels of understanding that we could scarcely comprehend even a few years ago. There will always be gaps in our knowledge of science but the most incredible fact, like the Big Bang, is how science increasingly demonstrates the Truth of God’s Word. 

God is not the excuse to explain our gaps in scientific knowledge. God is the source of the gaps!


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

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Seeing It To Completion (2 Timothy 4:6-8)

“I will be sending about fifty more cases, collected from two different skin centers. It would be good if you can complete this as quickly as possible so we can get our paper published.”

I was reading an email sent to me by a dermatologist colleague. When we began this research project, it was small and defined, involving about fifty of his patients. I was prospectively collecting the data by rendering a diagnosis on the skin biopsies and then entering the data in a spreadsheet each time I completed the patient’s report. Although this was an extra effort, requiring about 20 minutes for each case, it was not overly burdensome since it was done as a routine part of each case. 

This new revelation my colleague was sharing with me dramatically changed the parameters of the project. He was sending fifty new cases at one time. I would need to review each case and issue a report and enter the data in the same spreadsheet as I previously did. However, I was not being paid for these cases and these were being added on top of my already busy daily workload. If it took at least 20 minutes to do one case, it would require over 16 hours to complete this, time that I did not have. I was reluctant to accept it, but at the beginning of this project, I promised him that I would complete it, even if the parameters had changed. When I give my word, I honor it. God’s Word convicted my soul.

Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold. 

Proverbs 22:1 (NLT)

The Apostle Paul understood the importance of honoring his word and seeing his work to completion. He gave this fatherly advice to his protege and young pastor, Timothy.

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. 

Philippians 1:6 (NLT)

Why did Paul have this confidence? He knew it because he was living it in his own life.

As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing. 

2 Timothy 4:6-8 (NLT)

Seeing it to completion. 

I can grouse about my current circumstances but my witness to honor my word to my colleague was far more important. It was about keeping my word to God. There are many activities, projects, and relationships into which we enter. Although we may attempt to define the parameters of each, the unexpected is usually the norm and we may end up investing far more time and resources to complete it. The most important commitment we will make is to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We may think we can define the parameters of how we will serve God, but He never makes this promise to us. Whatever obstacles or suffering we may encounter, it is to prepare us to enter His glory when we are together in Heaven with Him. And we know we will be there because God will always see it completion.


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

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Shorty (Mark 6:1-3)

When I was 8 years old, I played baseball in a neighborhood league. The coach was the father of one of my teammates. To assist him was his younger cousin, also an adult, known by his nickname, Shorty. While everyone, including the coach’s son, called him by that name, I always addressed him as Mr. Smith. At my young age, I could not bring myself to address an adult by their first name. 

On one unfortunate gameday, Shorty called for a play which ended in disaster and eventually led to our loss. It was a mistake and Shorty was understandably dejected. Although he, nor the coach said anything, some of my teammates cruelly began teasing him. “Shorty screwed up!” Without warning, Shorty turned on the entire team. 

“Shut up! If you guys think it’s so easy, then you should coach and you better win all of your games!”  His face was red as he pointed at all of us. “And from now on, you call me Mr. Smith!”

I was too young to process the raw emotions that were on display. He resented being treated like another player, like a child. He needed to reassert his authority, and no one defended him. It was a humiliating experience that still reminds me of the insensitivity of others. Familiarity breeds contempt. 

Jesus left that part of the country and returned with his disciples to Nazareth, his hometown. The next Sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. They asked, “Where did he get all this wisdom and the power to perform such miracles?” Then they scoffed, “He’s just a carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon. And his sisters live right here among us.” They were deeply offended and refused to believe in him. 

Mark 6:1-3 (NLT)

Even our Lord Jesus Christ encountered disrespect even after He taught with authority and performed miracles in His hometown. The people who grew up with Him and were most familiar with Him and His family, denigrated Him. 

Another egregious example is when I hear God’s holy name taken in vain. It is a disturbing testimony by anyone doing this, casually using God’s name to make a point or to curse. All Christian believers should be deeply offended when the holy name of God is misused and maligned in conversation. We should defend God, not because He has feelings that could be hurt, but because He is our Lord and Savior. When we care deeply about someone, we should rise to the occasion and defend their honor whenever possible. It is the right thing to do and to ignore this is a sin.

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

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