Everyone has an appointment...

And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many.

I woke up this morning with this very passage (from Hebrews 9) on my mind. Of course, I've heard this all my life--and I've believed it all my life as well. But, for some reason, this morning the reality of it all hit me in the face. With the recent deaths of John Calloway, Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson (all famous, wealthy celebrities), it seems that our culture has forgotten that we humans are not the "Designer" nor the "end" of our eternal destiny.

God is.

I was reminded that all the fame, fortune, philanthropy, good works, social graces, and personal privileges in the world cannot save me. Only God can do that! He has designated HIS Son--Jesus Christ--to be the Savior of all who will call on His name, and trust His grace!

But I must "call on His name" and "trust His grace." That's my part. No one can do that for me. I must willingly participate in this process. I can't do it in abstentia. I can't trust "Grandma's salvation" (and I have two godly grandmothers--one already in heaven, and the other one waiting to go there).

God saw that I would need a Saviour, and His Son, Jesus Christ is that Saviour! Buddha, Allah, Confucious, Mohammed, and Reverend Moon can't do for me what Jesus can do--and has already done!

As one of the great songs of the past so wonderfully proclaims, "I come in the merits of Jesus..."

My only merit is that which Jesus Himself has purchased for me. In a time when "God is back" but JESUS is still rejected, I want to loudly proclaim that Jesus still saves! We can still call on Him, believe His word, and trust His grace!

When we do, we can have no fear of our "appointment." And we will have that appointment. And we will be on time.

Thank You, President Obama...for being a Father...

Dear Mr President,

First, let me thank you for emphasizing how important "fathers" are in our society, and to humanity as a whole. I remember, well, your message last Father's Day at Apostolic Church of God here in Chicago. You emphasized the absolute ESSENTIAL nature and responsibilities of what it means to be a "father." You said that "anyone can help conceive, but it takes a MAN to help raise and train" that child that has been produced.

Thank you!

I grew up without the love and nurture of my biological father. As you well know, Mr. President, there is 'hole' created by that absence/negligience and it's not easily filled. I'm not sure that my "father hole" will ever be filled. HOWEVER, God Himself has been a "father" to this fatherless boy.

I know the identity of my biological father. I used to know the man pretty well, and over the last 17 years he has dropped out of my life. While that is sometimes disappointing, it is an absence that I learned to live with. I also learned that God will send people to love and care about the "fatherless" just when those people need that care the most. He certainly did, and continues to do so, for this "fatherless" boy.

Robert Lewis, in his groundbreaking/monumental ministry of Men's Fraternity, addressed the "Father Wound"...and much of that wound comes from the "absentee father." I have known that wound very well. And it has taken me most of my life to find "healing" for that wound in my heart.

But, something happened to me about 15 years ago, and I was able to "lay my father" to rest. No, he isn't dead yet. But I was able to "grow up" and "move on in life" without his guidance or interference. I was able to make peace in my own soul concerning the hand that both parents dealt me.

Thank you, President Obama, for emphasizing what it means to be a father. Thank for you for being a wonderful father to your two gorgeous little girls. You and Michelle are doing a terrific job. The Presidency will come to an end...but the love and affections of your family will not. Always remember that.

An Update on me....Kidney Donor status....

Wayul, friends and neighbors

I made the trip down to Birmingham, Alabama on 10 June, and spent all day on 11 June at the University of Alabama-Birmingham Renal Transplant Center. This day, even though it was in a hospital, was fascinating.

Having been a BIOLOGY major in "another life" I have always loved the medical sciences. Even though I was the "specimen" this time, I found it fascinating.

From the original 16 tubes (YES, SIXTEEN) of blood that I gave as my "lab tests" to the CT Scan, and the Chest X-ray, and the Electrocardiogram (ECG), and finally the Nuclear Renal Scan, it was all an educational experience. (No, Joe, they didn't stick a nuclear warhead up my butt...LOL)

The tests all turned about just about perfect...except, I'm having to repeat a couple of tests...and it's more aggravating than anything else. What I was hoping would be an early July surgery date is now an uncertain date...but definitely before the end of August. There are just a few more "medical things" that need to be settled.

I'm confident they will turn out just fine....and I'll be cleared for surgery. The Proverbs teach us that the "steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD." I also believe the "stops" of a good man are ordered by HIM too.

Keep praying for me.

My "mom" needs your prayers...

My (step)mom--whom I love and adore--has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

She found out yesterday. Understandably, she is upset and very unsure about everything right now. The specialist hasn't told her what stage it is in...but she will be informed very soon. My 'mom' is a wonderful Christian who loves everyone. She has firmly committed her life to the Lord.

Please pray for her. I'll keep you all updated.

Thursday is almost here!

Less than 48 hours from now, I will be flying to Birmingham, Alabama. On Thursday morning, June 11, I will be admitted into the University of Alabama-Birmingham Renal Transplant Center for extensive evaluation as a potential Kidney Donor to my great friend, Dr Bill George.

I am very excited (and humbled) by the opportunities set before me. I have been thinking and praying, and contemplating, and musing. I simply want to be an obedient child of God--hearing and obeying what I discern to be His instructions to me in this matter.

Thus far, the blood types/samples have been great. The 12-Hour Urine specimen has been very good, and the blood pressure logs/records have been very, very sufficient.

My home church, The Moody Church (www.moodychurch.org) has been bathing this situation in fervent prayer, and for this august group of God's saints, I'm eternally, and unendingly grateful.

Let's see what the Lord will have in this situation for myself and Dr Bill George. I covet your prayers.

The "Muslim" Speech...


I'm still reading through President Obama's speech at Cairo University--the one aimed directly to and about the Muslim world.

Disclaimer: My personal physician, Dr Nadira Ali-Khan is a Muslim from India...and I absolutely adore her! She is probably the very best doctor I've ever had...and I'm thrilled that she would take me on as her patient.

I love this!


The leaders of an Alabama church got it right! They want to "bless others." I'd love to see many other congregations doing the very same thing. What a difference it would make! What a witness it would be!
To me, Cynthia Clawson's signature song, was written by her husband, Ragan Courtney...after watching a dramatization of Lottie Moon's life. Moon was a Baptist missionary to China many, many years ago. This song, I Heard About a Man, brings tears to my eyes:

I heard about a Man, who came to live in time
He did happy things with water and new wine.
He helped the crippled up, and He made the blind to see.
And then you know what else He did? He gave Himself for me.

He was a simple man. He really had no home.
He’d go and stay where He was asked; the next morning He’d be gone.
He made the leper whole, and He set the prisoner free.
And then you know what else He did? He came to stay with me.

Because I know this one who is man, and yet divine,
Because I know what love can do in just a second’s time,
Because He made me truly whole, He’s the one who gave my soul a song to sing.

He was a humble man, yet always He was bold.
He’d stop and talk for just a spell and see clear to your soul.
He fed a hungry crowd, and He withered up a tree.
And then you know what else He did? He blossomed forth in me!

(© 1977 by Triune Music, Inc., Limited; CCLI 1638406)

My dinner menu

I am having my wonderful friends, Gordon Lin and his fiance Emily, as well as Dr and Mrs Michael Shih (her name is Amanda) at my place for dinner this Saturday evening. Here's the menu:

Mashed Potatoes with gravy
Fresh Green Beans
Fried Green Tomatoes
Homemade Biscuits
Dessert yet to be determined
Main Entree yet to be determined.

Deviled eggs for h'ordeurves.

One week from today...Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I will fly to Birmingham, Alabama. I will be spending the night with my wonderful friend Scott Bowen (from seminary days) and his lovely wife, Leslie. On Thursday morning, I will be admitted into the Renal Center of the University of Alabama-Birmingham Medical Complex. I will be undergoing MANY (not overstating the word, either) evaluations, to determine my fitness as a kidney donor for transplant to my wonderful friend, Dr Bill George.

Please pray for God's will and direction to be apparent to everyone involved in this process.