Solid

“…whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel” (Philippians 1:27, NIV).

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Holy Spirit Boldness

“Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit” (Mark 13:11, NIV).

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Spring Chickens

I honestly don’t know what the word “old” means anymore. When we measure our days against the eternity that is ours, we are all spring chickens.

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The Voice

God speaks to us in so many ways: through incidents like this, through dreams, through visions, through an unexpected word from a friend, through a formal Sunday sermon, through a quiet morning Bible passage.

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Cumulus Clouds

“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ…” (Galatians 6:14, NIV).

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Momma’s Pillow

“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her; ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all’” (Proverbs 31:28-29, NIV).

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Swimming for the First Time

“In the last days, God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams’” (Acts 2:17, NIV).

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Forever Faithful

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6, ESV).

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Living What We Know

“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ” (Philippians 1:9-10, NIV).

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Friendship

“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15, NIV).

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Letting Go of the Miracle

“‘Then neither do I condemn you’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin’” (John 8:11b, NIV).

I had managed his lymphoma for a few years. The task had been difficult due to his drug problem affecting his compliance—I almost lost him twice, but he is in good shape now.

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Anger

“Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles” (1 Corinthians 1:22-23, NIV).

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Training Well

“Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles” (1 Corinthians 1:22-23, NIV).

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The Value of Life

“Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles” (1 Corinthians 1:22-23, NIV).

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Rough People

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35, ESV).

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Doctor Tears

“Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25, ESV).

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Coronary Stents

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself…” (Matthew 6:34, NIV).

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No Insulin

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV).

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Father’s Day

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him” (Luke 15:20, NIV).

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Too Deep

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12, NIV).

I received this text early last week. “Dr. ____, Can I come see you today? I’m throwing up and my stomach hurts. And my brother just shot himself in front of me.”

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Prayer List

“With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (Ephesians 6:18b, NIV).

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Regrets

“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:22, NIV).

He is a sharp, talented colleague with whom I work. His son had been suffering with pain for four years. Neither chiropractor nor medical doctors had come up with a solution. Now the truth is out, and the tumor has been removed. He sat in my office talking in circular ways about the long, drawn-out process he and his son had endured to reach the conclusion that finally made his son whole. He talked about the system and the doctors and his frustration at it all. He didn’t talk about the one thing he came to tell me. As he was leaving, I asked him, “Do you feel guilty that you didn’t help him earlier?” “Yes!!!” he answered.

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Temptation

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13, NIV).

Celiac Disease is a fascinating disorder caused by transglutaminase antibodies triggered by glutens in wheat and other grains. It presents in a variety of ways, from severe immediate reactions, to chronic autoimmune symptoms, to even an asymptomatic state. As an oncologist I knew little about celiac disease until my wife and I enjoyed a wonderful trip to Italy, where I learned to love pasta. Shortly thereafter I developed minor lower extremity edema. I was evaluated and found to be iron, B12 and Vitamin D deficient with minor anemia. Sure enough, it was celiac disease. I had been born with it, and it was just now waking up. No big deal, just quit eating wonderful food, and it all goes away. It’s hard to be good. Today one of my oncology fellows brought me a peace offering because he thought he had disrespected me, though he had not. It was a box of the most incredible donuts. I knew better. I counted the cost, and I ate half of the most wonderful coconut-coated donuts I had ever tasted, at least since my diagnosis. It was impossible for me to refuse.

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Stones in the River

“…In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever” (Joshua 4:7, NIV).

It’s been a while, but this weekend I remembered. I shared it with my son and his two kids. We were young then with two small children, missionaries in Nigeria, headed home for a medical evaluation. As we signed in at the Lagos departure gate, dreading the next 18 hours on planes, a Nigerian boy stepped out from the shadows and offered, “I can get first class tickets for your family.” I asked how much and handed him the $10 he suggested. Knowing the scam but liking the young man, I watched him melt away into the crowd. When we reached the line to board our plane, we discovered that our tickets had been changed to first class seats. We were amazed and incredibly grateful, thanking God for His recent angel. The only complaint came from our 6-year-old daughter who thought the caviar was nasty.

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Mother’s Day

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1, KJV).

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Faith or Hope?

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1, KJV).

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The Mustard Seed

“And He said, ‘How can we illustrate the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use to describe it? It’s like a mustard seed that, when sown in the soil, is smaller than all the seeds on the ground’” (Mark 4:30-31, HCSB).

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Too Late

“Jesus answered him, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise’” (Luke 23:43, NIV).

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Wonderfully Made

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made…” (Psalm 139:13-14, NIV).

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More than Myself

“All the Israelites did just what the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron. On that very day the Lord brought the Israelites out of Egypt by their divisions” (Exodus 12:50-51, NIV).

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A Request

“They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request, ‘Sir,’ they said, ‘we would like to see Jesus’” (John 12:21, NIV).

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Thank You Cards

“Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown” (Mark 4:20, NIV).

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Habits of Life

“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16, NIV).

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Swimming Upstream

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12, NIV).

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Multiplied

“Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown” (Mark 4:20, NIV).

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Guaranteed

Photo Credit: Unsplash.com

“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-11, NIV).

Two years ago, two Albanian medical students came to stay in our home while they studied for one month at our local medical school. One was devoted to the Lord, the other an agnostic. I pray daily for each. The one devoted to Christ remains so, the other remains agnostic. We gave the agnostic a Bible to read as he left our home. If he read it, it did not change him. However, in our recent mission to Albania, we met his sister. God had come to her in a dream and told her to read the Bible. She picked up the Bible we had given to her brother and found Christ as her Savior and Lord.

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Time Constraints

“…The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a man. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel” (Joshua 10:13-14, NIV).

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A Crowded ER

“At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth” (Mark 10:22, NIV).

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Chemical Warfare

“Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good…” (Genesis 50:19b-20, NIV).

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Prescription for Prayer

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, ESV).

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Who Am I?

“What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet” (Psalm 8:4-6, ESV).

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A Roma Christmas

Christmas in the Middle of a Mess December 12, 2018

“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son…” (Luke 2:6, NIV).

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Whatever It Takes

“This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones, ‘I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life’” (Ezekiel 37:5, NIV).

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Compelled

“When Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Spirit, testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ” (Acts 18:5, NKJV).

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His Presence in Darkness

“…I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:18-19, ESV).

My patient was in her 80s and medically stable, but her countenance troubled me. Upon checking in on her again, she burst into tears, confessing she was terrified to die. Her daughter sat at her bedside and tried reassuring her mother. I asked them if I could pray with them, and they agreed. I praised God for the Physician of physicians and proclaimed the gospel in prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ. My patient didn’t have a church home and asked me to call the chaplain so she could also speak with him. Before I left, I gave her a wooden cross a professor had given me and told her to pray when the fear and darkness crept back because, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18, ESV). The next day during rounds, the attending, the intern and myself—a medical student—saw the patient together. As the attending wrapped up the medical conversation, the patient’s daughter thanked me for praying with them the day before and exclaimed, “Guess who got baptized yesterday!” I looked at my patient; she was beaming. I praised Jesus and gave her a hug, welcoming a new sister into the family. Looking back on that moment, I marvel at God’s work: He proclaimed Himself through a redeemed sinner, in the darkness, amid many witnesses. “He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord” (Psalm 40:3, ESV).

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5 a.m.

“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20, NIV).

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Thin Ice

“All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people…” (Acts 2:44-47, NIV).

Six children, five at home, and a husband with advanced cancer for the last year, perhaps for not much longer. She has the sweetest disposition and the utmost peace I have ever witnessed in such trying circumstances. I caught her in the hall and asked her how she was doing in the struggle. “I’m fine,” she said. “I’ve got a great support group.” Then she added, “I don’t know how people without the church make it through things like this.”

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Divided

“So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth…That is why it was called Babel…” (Genesis 11:8-9, NIV).

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Working Hard, Making Beauty

“Then God said, ‘Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it’…And it was so” (Genesis 1:11, NIV).

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The End Game

“He said to me: ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give to water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children’” (Revelation 21:6-7, NIV).

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The Handoff

Civility February 14, 2019

“After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: ‘Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites’” (Joshua 1:1-2, NIV).

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The Call

Photo Credit: Unsplash.com

“Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him” (Mark 3:13, NIV).

Dr. Ledia Qatipi is a friend of mine. She was born in Albania and has dedicated her life to God’s service in a Christian healthcare clinic there. She is raising two teenage daughters whom she loves dearly, and thus she understands the realities of life. A few months ago, she told me that God had spoken to her and asked her to begin an additional ministry to the Roma of Tirana, most of whom live in open, three-sided shelters and beg for a living. The call was real, and God is blessing the ministry she has begun—on the side, as she works in her clinic and raises her daughters.

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A Plaid Santa

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you will also appear with him in glory” (Colossians 3:2-4, NIV).

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Hannah’s Tears

“For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 7:17, NIV).

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Falling Well

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love” (2 Peter 1:5-7, NIV).

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Mexican Train

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear…” (Matthew 6:25, NIV).

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Finding the Center

“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4, ESV).

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No Wasted Miracles

“Jesus did not let him [go with him], but said, ‘Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you’” (Mark 5:19, NIV).

His broken neck was doing okay today with adequate pain meds. The cancer that had once been “cured” and then returned was now gone for over two years, a miracle in my scientific mind. “I don’t know why God blessed you with one of His miracles,” I said. “I hope you are using it well.” “Oh, we are,” the wife answered. He added, “Every time I go to AA, I tell them how God has blessed me, what He has done to heal me. I always slip a little God in their back pockets before they leave.”

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A Doctor’s Vacation III

Photo: Pixabay

“…‘Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are…’” (Mark 12:14, NIV).

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A Doctor’s Vacation II

Photo: Pixabay

Family vacations for doctors can be disorienting, at least for me. There is often a mental and emotional chasm separating the intensity and profundity of practice and the environment into which a vacation throws me.

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A Doctor’s Vacation 1

Photo: Pixabay

Family vacations for doctors can be disorienting, at least for me. There is often a mental and emotional chasm separating the intensity and profundity of practice and the environment into which a vacation throws me.

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An Ox in the Well

“Then he asked them, ‘If one of you has a child or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull it out?’” (Luke 14:5, NIV).

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Be Careful

“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer…” (1 Peter 3:12, NIV).

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Still Fixin’ Things

“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18, NIV).

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Failure Matters

“But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you’” (Mark 16:7, NIV).

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Rocks in Shoes

“And he said to all, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me’” (Luke 9:23, ESV).

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The Uncounted

“He [Paul] was accompanied by Sopater, son of Pyrrhus from Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy also, and Tychicus and Trophimus from the province of Asia” (Acts 20:4, NIV).

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Slate

“Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?” (James 2:16, NIV).

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Trapped

“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there” (Psalm 139:7-8, NIV).

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Over-blessed

“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” (Luke 12:48b, NIV).

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Evidence

I sat on his bed, my arm around him. I had once been his doctor, but he called me to come as friend. He is a deeply devoted follower of Christ who was going through a rough time in his illness, thinking that he soon might be leaving this world. “I have been so blessed by such a wonderful wife and children. Knowing that my children love the Lord is such a blessing.” Though he probably has some time left on this side of glory, I attempted these words to comfort him: “You surely have been blessed in this life, but the blessing does not stop here. All of us are going to be together for all times with the Lord and with those we love, once this little speck of time we know as life has passed.” “I hope so,” he said. “I surely hope so.” I added, “The evidence is overwhelming. Besides that, the Lord Himself is here to assure us.”

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The Scarlet Thread

“Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come…” (Mark 13:35, NIV).

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169 Pounds

“If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the son of God, God lives in them and they in God” (1 John 4:15, NIV).

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The Gate Opens Inward

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me” (Revelation 3:20, NIV).

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Intentionally Aware

Photo: Pixabay

Many years before, when he was shot down in Vietnam, he was rescued, but he thought he was going to die from his injuries. A chaplain from a different faith tradition was there praying for the wounded. He asked that chaplain to pray for him. That chaplain asked him what denomination he was affiliated with.

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The Blessing

“Then he blessed Joseph and said, ‘May the God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully, the God who has been my shepherd all of my life to this day, the Angel who has delivered me from all harm—may he bless these boys. May they be called by my name and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac, and may they increase greatly on the earth’” (Genesis 48:15-16, NIV).

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God’s Smile

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“And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness” (Malachi 3:3, KJV).

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Light and Momentary

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“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17, NIV).

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Seeking That Which Strikes You

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness, and to goodness, knowledge; and to your knowledge, self-control; and to your self-control, perseverance; and to your perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love” (2 Peter 1:5-7, NIV).

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Bananas

Photo: Pexels

“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called…” (1 Timothy 6:12, ESV).

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Another House Call

Photo: Pexels

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18, NIV).

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A Friend Who Prays

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“Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16, NIV).

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Tell Him to Come!

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My three-and-half-year-old grandson in Alabama was just released from the hospital after four days of misery. Forgive the picture, but he was so constipated that he was throwing up.

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When Will I Learn?

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness, and to goodness, knowledge; and to your knowledge, self-control; and to your self-control, perseverance; and to your perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love” (2 Peter 1:5-7, NIV).

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God Jobs

“No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds” (1 Timothy 5:9-10, NIV).

He was recovering from an unexpected severe toxicity from a new cancer treatment. Just beginning to make urine and platelets again. We talked about his illness and then talked about his life. “I’ve got this neighbor,” he told me, “who cuts my yard. My yard is twice as big as his, but he cuts it. And he doesn’t just cut it, he manicures it and mows it twice a week—for a year now. He began back when I first got real sick. When I got better, I told him I could take over, but he wouldn’t let me. ‘God told me to do this, so it’s mine,’ he said. Before I got sick, we hardly knew each other.”

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A Buddhist Funeral

“And whoever lives by believing in me will never die” (John 11:26a, NIV).

I had never been to a Buddhist funeral. The deceased was the father of one of my new fellows. When I arrived, my fellow greeted me and asked if I wanted to light some incense for her father. I said I would, out of respect for him and love for her. I placed the first incense before a picture of young Buddha. I did not bow to him as those before me but placed a burning stick into the small gravel bowl in respect for a great philosopher. The second incense I placed before a picture of the deceased and bowed my head asking God for blessings on his family.

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“The Race Marked Out for Us…”

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1, NIV 1984).

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Sunday Shopping

But we all, with unveiled faces, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18, NASB).

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It’s Not the Same

“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8, NIV).

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Poblano Pepper Pork

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30, NIV).

Yesterday was unusual for me in a good way. It was Saturday, a day I usually catch up with charts, or complete work for board meetings, or visit friends who need companionship. But yesterday, after my morning run, I spent the entire day at home with my wife. She wore me out digging up bush stumps in the backyard. And then we decided to cook together. I found a recipe for Poblano pepper pork chops, and she found a recipe for a mushroom antipasto. I asked her to show me how to do it right. We shopped together, prepared and cooked, and then we eventually invited her older sister to join us for the experimental meal. When I lay down to sleep last night, my body was tired. I had worked hard that day, but my spirit was rested and refreshed.

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Already Won

“If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one…” (Hebrews 11:15-16, NIV 1984).

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“Even If He Does Not…”

“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your Gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (Daniel 3:17-18, NIV 1984).

As program director for an oncology fellowship, this week I welcomed five new fellows into their three-year training program. Two weeks before they started, one of the new fellows was Facetiming his 36-year-old brother in India. While they were speaking, his brother suffered a heart attack and died. This Friday I received word from another starting fellow. Her previously healthy father had suffered a brain hemorrhage and would be hemiplegic and aphasic forever, if he lived. (He did not.) And, as a backdrop to these tragedies, the 19-year-old son of a local pastor dove into a shallow pool last week and is now paralyzed.

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