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Dental Ministries Digest

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | February 16, 2022

CMDA has over many years engaged with United States Courts, Congress, and individual elected representatives from all over the country. This collection of articles on various public policy issues is each available to read in its entirety.

Christian Doctor’s Digest

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | February 16, 2022

CMDA has over many years engaged with United States Courts, Congress, and individual elected representatives from all over the country. This collection of articles on various public policy issues is each available to read in its entirety.

Commentary & Testimony

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | February 2, 2022

CMDA has over many years engaged with United States Courts, Congress, and individual elected representatives from all over the country. This collection of articles on various public policy issues is each available to read in its entirety.

Legislative Issues

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | January 27, 2022

CMDA has over many years engaged with United States Courts, Congress, and individual elected representatives from all over the country. This collection of articles on various public policy issues is each available to read in its entirety.

Public Policy Letters

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | January 27, 2022

CMDA has over many years engaged with United States Courts, Congress, and individual elected representatives from all over the country. This collection of letters on various public policy issues is each available to read in its entirety.

CMDA Today Archive

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | January 25, 2022

A weekly blog keeping you updated on emerging topics relevant to today’s issues in healthcare written by CMDA’s staff and members. Perspectives and Opinions on Issues and News Topics is a publication of Christian Medical & Dental Associations®. Join the conversation with The Point, CMDA’s blog focusing on breaking news stories in bioethics and healthcare. CMDA’s experts contribute to the blog and also recommend additional resources and information.

Weekly Devotionals

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | January 18, 2022

These devotions are targeted specifically for you, the healthcare professional, and the challenges unique to you that you face on a day-to-day basis. You can sign-up here to receive these devotions through a weekly email or you can come back to this page to read the weekly devotion online. We hope you are encouraged and inspired by them, and that you can gain insight and wisdom from others who have gone through the same challenges that you face in the healthcare industry today.
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5, KJV).

Archival Resources

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | January 12, 2022

All CMDA archival resource material over the past many years.

CMDA Statement on Capitol Violence

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | January 7, 2021

The Christian Medical & Dental Associations was shocked and appalled on January 6th by the rioters who attacked and invaded our nation’s Capitol while Congress was in session. We strongly condemn these acts of violence and lawlessness, specifically under the pretense of any righteous endeavor or the banner of Christ’s cross.

Islam

By Al Weir, MD | December 31, 2019

I just arrived home after attending a Muslim prayer service for the wife and child of a friend. His wife died tragically one week before birthing their first son. The service was simple with a few additional prayers in Arabic after the third prayers of the day at 5 p.m.

It’s All about the Will

By Al Weir, MD | December 23, 2019

I belong to an accountability group for personal witness. For some reason this week I was asked to speak to medical students for a series called Inspire, meant to encourage first and second year students to seek joy in their future careers. God overwhelmed me with the understanding that I should share my faith in Christ with them, even in this fully secular setting.

Christian Doctor’s Digest – December 2019 – #2

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | December 19, 2019

In this podcast, CMDA’s new CEO Dr. Mike Chupp is joined by Dr. James Avery about his new book, Marijuana: An Honest Look at the World’s Most Misunderstood Weed. Next, he interviews Dr. Gene Rudd about Encore, a new CMDA ministry.

Policy Over People

By Al Weir, MD | December 17, 2019

They called me from the church today. One of the homeless women staying there had developed a painful rash. I drove over, documented an acute H. Zoster infection and wrote the prescription for acyclovir, prednisone and a few hydrocodone. Later today I had fallen asleep on the floor at home and awakened to spot a text from my friend who was helping the homeless that weekend.

“She’s in My Hands”

By Al Weir, MD | December 10, 2019

The following email was sent to me as a matter of prayer: “In April, my wife was found to have a large frontal lobe GBM. Her last MRI showed diffuse recurrence despite radiation and Temodar. She has decided to enter hospice care. She is incredibly at peace. She tells everyone that very soon she will be healed when she is in Glory. I’m not near as strong as she is, and have been ‘frustrated’ at my inability to help her. I think we, as physicians, feel that we have to ‘do something’ about everything. Saturday morning, I had a sitter for her, so I could do some errands.

Christian Doctor’s Digest – December 2019 – #1

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | December 5, 2019

In this podcast, CMDA’s new CEO Dr. Mike Chupp interviews Dr. Eric McLaughlin, a family medicine missionary physician, about his book Promises in the Dark: Walking with Those in Need Without Losing Heart. Next, he is joined by Dr. Peter Saunders, the Chief Executive of the International Christian Medical & Dental Association.

Measuring Value

By Al Weir, MD | December 3, 2019

My mother suffers from severe dementia. She often seems to understand what we say and who we are but can never speak coherently. Her life is difficult, and our goal as children is to visit often and give her moments of joy. Yesterday my sister was visiting Mom and told her about one of her friends who was seriously ill. Mom bowed her head and began, “Oh Lord, you are the one we come to in our need.”

Notre Dame

By Al Weir, MD | November 26, 2019

My nurse practitioner is a Catholic Christian who has expanded her options by embracing Buddhism after multiple vacations to Thailand, where she fell in love with elephants. When the church at Notre Dame burned, she was heartbroken, as was I. Today I asked her if she had ever been to Notre Dame and seen the Crown of Thorns that was kept there. She had not, but then showed me a picture of St. Anthony she carried with her, and then drifted to her admiration of St. Francis. She said. “I’ve always wanted to walk where St. Francis walked.”

Christian Doctor’s Digest – November 2019 – #2

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | November 20, 2019

In this month’s podcast, CMDA’s new CEO Dr. Mike Chupp interviews Dr. Michael Davis about his work with infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS. Next, he is joined by Dr. Ray Barfield, the director of the Duke University’s Medical Humanities Program for the Trent Center for Bioethics, Medical Humanities and History of Medicine.

This One Last Thing

By Al Weir, MD | November 19, 2019

This was a weekend off-duty, so I had time to visit a few patients as a friend, not a professional. I had just prayed with two for healing in very difficult situations and was traveling between hospitals. My thoughts drifted to personal needs. A child of mine desperately needs a work of great power. “Dear Father, everything else is okay in my life. Just give me this one thing, and I can manage the rest.”

The Other Side

By Al Weir, MD | November 12, 2019

He sat there for a moment after I had finished his exam. I wondered what was keeping him in his chair. He then asked softly, “Are you a Christian?” I was a little bit stunned, as this was out of the blue, but answered, “I certainly am; are you?”

Marijuana

By Al Weir, MD | November 5, 2019

She was middle aged, chronically anxious and doing well from her past cancer. When I asked her about her weight, she replied, “I was losing weight until I started smoking marijuana.”

Christian Doctor’s Digest – November 2019

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | November 4, 2019

In this month’s podcast, CMDA’s new CEO Dr. Mike Chupp interviews Dr. Eleanore Kue about her work serving the underserved in Michigan. Next, he is joined by Pastor John Ensor about his book regarding resources for crisis pregnancy intervention.

Darn Gluten

By Al Weir, MD | October 29, 2019

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged…” (Matthew 7:1-2, NIV 1984).

I have a wonderful daughter-in-law, who is a fantastic cook with a culinary degree and is very health conscious for her family when it comes to food. A few years ago, she decided to remove gluten from her diet. I thought it was a fad and teased her for her decision. And then, the next time I underwent my annual health exam, my physician discovered I was both iron and B12 deficient. As an oncologist, I was convinced I had a GI cancer. I was relieved to discover I was simply gluten sensitive, secondary to celiac disease.

He Let Us Run

By Al Weir, MD | October 22, 2019

“While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8b, NIV 1984).

He was big, a John Wayne kind of a guy, still well-nourished, but tired after the treatment I had put him through. While examining him, I admired the leather jacket he was wearing. “There’s an interesting story about this coat,” he said. “It wasn’t long after I bought it that I was at a pawn shop I frequent. The clerk noted that someone was breaking into my car.” My patient paused. “I was carrying. I ran out to the car with my little pearl-handled pistol and caught the guy holding this jacket I’m wearing.

What the Heck?

By Al Weir, MD | October 15, 2019

“…But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God” (2 Timothy 1:8, NIV 1984).

I had just heard that his son was in the intensive care unit and wondered why he had not called me. When I got him on the phone, he explained his son’s illness. All the while I was thinking of his wife, who had just come through difficult treatment for cancer, and his daughter, who had recently died after delivering her first child. He and I are close, and he explained his lack of communication. “I was just so worn out,” he said. “I told God this time, ‘I’m not going to let go of you, God. I know you’ve got this.’ But all the time in the back of my mind I was saying, ‘What the heck?’”

Freedom to Become

By Al Weir, MD | October 8, 2019

“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory…” (2 Corinthians 3:18, NIV 1984).

He pulled me aside after I had spoken to a group in the Midwest. He was short, stocky, 70 and built like a brick, a hard man who seemed pleasant, soft-spoken and at peace with life. “May I tell you something?” He asked. “I know this is not your business and I have been going to another doctor with this, but you speak like someone I can talk to.” He continued. “You know all those stories about the priests and young boys? I was one of those boys. Some bad things happened to me when I was young. And I grew up and did some bad things. Now I’m trying to live well and relate to my wife in a good way, but it’s hard.”

Christian Doctor’s Digest – October 2019

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | October 1, 2019

In this month’s podcast, CMDA’s new CEO Dr. Mike Chupp is joined by Dr. Ruth Haley Barton, the CEO of the Transforming Center, about her book, Pursuing God’s Will Together. Next, he interviews Barney Davis, Jr., MD, a general psychiatrist, about the importance of sabbath and rest.

Dementia

By Al Weir, MD | October 1, 2019

“…There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4, NIV 1984).

I try to visit her twice a week, but sometimes only make it once. My mom is suffering from severe dementia and requires round-the-clock attendants. She can barely carry on a conversation and, when she does, it is often like, “I haven’t seen Mother in a while. How is she doing?” … with her own mother gone for 30 years; or, “Where is Bud?” … about our dad, who has been with the Lord for four years. My goal when I visit is to bring a moment of joy into her mental chaos, to produce a smile or a bit of laughter, even if she doesn’t understand.

Power

By Al Weir, MD | September 24, 2019

“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength…” (Isaiah 30:15, NIV 1984).

A resident I know who loves the Lord and is dedicated to following God’s will for life told me his story at a conference recently: “In order to complete the mission God has for my life, he showed me I needed to travel far away to a city where I know no one. I learned recently that the period of time required there would cost me $5,000, money I do not have. I prayed, exasperated, for God to help me with the cost and help me get there. The next day, I was visiting a house church where people prayed for me and for God’s will in my life.

When It’s Our Time

By Al Weir, MD | September 17, 2019

“However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name” (1 Peter 4:16, NIV 1984).

I love my brother’s wife. Tonight, I sat in their home surrounded by their children and told her she had an aggressive cancer. When I returned to my home, my son called and told me his infant daughter has suffered head trauma and had a bleed in her brain. This was a bad day for those I love.

Worthy of Glory

By Al Weir, MD | September 10, 2019

“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power…” (Revelation 4:11, NIV 1984).

We had a terrible time getting his myelodysplasia under control. With the first cycle of decitabine he developed bleeding and sepsis. Now, he was seated before me, doing much better. “You know, those days in the hospital were good for me,” he said. “I just spent my time focused on the Lord. I never even turned on the television.” He then added, “I want all of this I’m going through to glorify God.”

Christian Doctor’s Digest – September 2019

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | September 3, 2019

In this month’s podcast, CMDA’s new CEO Dr. Mike Chupp interviews author and physician Dr. Walt Larimore about his new book, Fit Over 50. Next, Dr. David Stevens is joined by Drs. Timothy and Maureen Gaul, the leaders of Medical Education International’s teams to Macedonia. Finally, Vice President for Campus & Community Ministries Bill Reichart interviews Dr. Ron and LeAnne Blackmore about their recent trip to Macedonia.

Count the Cost: and Spend It

By Al Weir, MD | September 3, 2019

“People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them…He said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me…’” (Mark 10:13-14, NIV 1984).

It was 1984 and the occasion was our daughter‘s sixth birthday. My father had become very concerned I was working so hard. Up to 60 to 80 hours a week. It was good work. Comprehensive patient care including spiritual care. Teaching residents, students and fellows in our teaching practice. Performing nationally recognized peer-reviewed, community-based studies. Faculty appointments at 10 medical schools. All was good.

Excellence

By Al Weir, MD | August 27, 2019

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24, ESV).

It was difficult to recruit a surgeon who would work with her, given her eccentricities and wavering decision-making. Finally, she was forced to proceed; her abdominal pain predicted an impending disaster. I visited her the day before the planned procedure and asked her how she liked her surgeon. At 80 she could get away with her reply, “If you bought him for what he was worth and sold him for what he thought he was worth, you would make a fortune.”

A Mother’s Plea

By Al Weir, MD | August 20, 2019

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6, ESV).

Janice died last week. I had visited her daily in the hospital until her discharge but was unaware of her death at home. During her stay, in spite of her suffering, her chief concern was for her son and daughter who were not walking with the Lord. I promised to pray faithfully for them, and I do. Today, when I discovered her death and called her husband, he reminded me how their two kids came to be. Many years ago, when radiation was needed to cure her malignancy, I had advised Janice to consider having her ovaries moved out of the field of radiation, so that someday she might conceive. She agreed; her malignancy was cured; the children are now grown and beautiful and wandering away from Jesus.

A Temporary Inconvenience

By Al Weir, MD | August 13, 2019

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 5:10-11, ESV).

There was an open mike and I was compelled by His Spirit to speak. “As a rule, I don’t attend the funerals of my patients, and I have never spoken at one. But I have been so blessed to walk with Mark and his family through their struggle. I hope that all of you have watched them. This is the way that followers of Christ do this.”

Hemiparetic Mercy

By Al Weir, MD | August 6, 2019

“Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (1 Peter 2:10, NIV 1984).

I went by the rehab facility to deliver his Christmas present. Since he was confined to a wheelchair with poor vision, I thought a CD with audiobooks might improve his sanity. He was eating lunch at the time. After we had talked a few minutes, he said, “Oh, I forgot.” He then bowed his head and prayed, “Dear God, thank you for this cup of mercy.” Since his thoughts are sometimes slightly jumbled, I assumed this was his way of saying grace over lunch. And then he raised his head, looked me in the eyes, and asked, “Did you get your cup this morning?”

Christian Doctor’s Digest – August 2019

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | August 1, 2019

In this month’s podcast, Dr. David Stevens interviews Dr. Den Trumbull about his book Loving by Leading. Next, he is joined by Dr. Mike Chupp, CMDA’s new and incoming Chief Executive Officer.

67 Days

By Al Weir, MD | July 30, 2019

“‘…Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty” (Zechariah 4:6, NIV 1984).

I walked into the room and saw a young woman I had never met sitting next to my patient. “This is my daughter,” he said. I remembered something about his daughter from our previous conversations and greeted her. “67 days,” he said, softly at first so that I did not understand. Within my silence he spoke more clearly, “67 days.” Our past conversations came back clearly. On our last visit, his greatest anguish was not for his illness, but for his daughter addicted to drugs. She was now 67 days free from them. “I certainly prayed for you,” I told her. “It’s all because of Jesus,” her father said.

Step by Step

By Al Weir, MD | July 23, 2019

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6, ESV).

We all have different methods in our daily intercessory prayers. I pray geographically for those I know around the country. Some folk stay on my geographic list a long time and I hear nothing from them. I was praying for Ken yesterday morning as I have been for many years. Not hearing from him for months and receiving only an answering machine message when I called, I asked the Lord, “Please let Ken call me today since I cannot reach him.” Sure enough, Ken called this evening, and the reconnection was made—and God told me, “Continue.”

The Scattering Job

By Al Weir, MD | July 16, 2019

“He also said, ‘This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how’” (Mark 4:26-27, NIV 1984).

Jerry is a follower of Christ who was recently recovering in a rehab facility that also housed a nursing home. At dinner he was regularly seated next to two men who had difficulty with cognition. One was 103 years old and had a “fetish for sweets.” The other ate grilled cheese sandwiches for every meal. Speaking of his life as a Christian witness in that venue, Jerry told me, “How in the world could I hope that my witness would be of any value when these men were suffering from such dementia? It was impossible!”

The Dream

By Al Weir, MD | July 9, 2019

Our view of Tirana was magnificent from the 25th floor of the Plaza. The international scientific speakers had completed their presentations and the Albanian doctors were discussing among themselves. These bright physicians were as knowledgeable as those who had presented this fantastic new science but had no way to use that science due to their diminished resources. They have been my friends for many years and one of them spoke, “This is great to hear, but for us it is just a dream.” Then another took the microphone and chastened his discouraged colleagues, “Yes, but we insist on the dream.”

Believing God

By Al Weir, MD | July 2, 2019

“He said to his disciples, ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?’” (Mark 4:40, NIV 1984).

I settled into a chair in the hotel lounge away from the crowd so that I might catch up on my email, with some real anxiety over the news that email was bringing me. Earlier in our mission I had prayed that each of us might be ready for God’s work of interruption. Just so, an Albanian medical student saw me sitting there alone and asked, “Are you busy?” As he sat down, he reflected on an earlier talk I had given and asked, “Which level of happiness are you experiencing?” As we talked, I asked him about his own faith experience. He described, “I am a Christian. My mother is a Christian who believes. My father is a Christian who does not believe. I am more like my father.”

Christian Doctor’s Digest – July 2019

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | July 1, 2019

In this month’s podcast, Dr. David Stevens is joined by Dr. Tyler VanderWeele to talk about the link between religious upbringing and health. Next, Senior Vice President Gene Rudd interviews Dr. Ron Bryce about his book Fingerprint of God. Finally, listen and learn more about Dr. Bill Griffin, CMDA’s new Dental Director.

Calling 911

By Al Weir, MD | June 25, 2019

“When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you’” (John 17:1, ESV).

William carries the diagnosis of autism. He is a handsome and strong young man whose family loves the Lord. I have been praying daily for William, but my prayers may not have been correct. A few years ago, when William was much younger, his family was gathered with all eight of William’s siblings and cousins. As usual, there was vigorous activity throughout the house. Then someone noticed that William was missing.

Significance

By Al Weir, MD | June 18, 2019

“The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, ‘If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself’” (Luke 23:36, NIV 1984).

Each of us should have a few very special friends in our lives. Dr. Mark Johnston is one of those for me. I love this man, and God has done amazing things through his life, none of which I will mention here. He and I have been serving together in an Albanian mission for Christ over the last 25 years. Mark has been feeling the call of God into an even deeper walk with Him. Not long ago, Mark’s pastor asked his church members to place on the altar a sacrifice, to give to God something that God would truly desire. As Mark was praying earnestly what sacrificial offering might please his Lord, he clearly heard the inaudible message, “How about significance?”

Getting It

By Al Weir, MD | June 11, 2019

“Whoever closes his ears to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered” (Proverbs 21:13, ESV).

Last week my son-in law-called me with a new problem. He had sneezed vigorously, and, after that sneeze, had developed periorbital pain, swelling around his eye and a minor change in vision. My daughter sent me a text picture of his eyes with one pupil smaller than the other. I had no idea what was going on, but, as an oncologist, I had seen nasopharyngeal cancers looking just so.

Two by Two

By Al Weir, MD | June 4, 2019

“And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits…So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent…” (Mark 6:7-13, ESV).

Beni Baboçi often assists us with our medical evangelism work in the Balkans. He came to my home the other night and shared with me his early days of ministry. In those days he was part of a team that trudged from village to village in the rural mountains of Albania sharing the Jesus Film, accepted by some and rejected by others. As he spoke, I envisioned the disciples’ experience when Jesus first sent them out from village to village, two by two, preaching that people should repent.

Christian Doctor’s Digest – June 2019

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | May 30, 2019

In this month’s podcast, Dr. David Stevens is joined by Dr. Steve Sartori to talk about CMDA’s new Center for Well-being. Next, he interviews Dr. Matt Montgomery about his experience on mission trips with CMDA’s Global Health Outreach.

Our Demons

By Al Weir, MD | May 28, 2019

“For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet” (Mark 5:4, NIV 1984).

I am trying again to memorize the book of Mark for no other reason than God asked me to do it. The beginning of chapter 5 drove my memory back to one Sunday afternoon, walking through the streets of the small Nigerian village of Sanubi, after we had attended church services. As we approached a concrete block house set off from the others, we came upon a young man, clearly mentally ill, sitting in the dirt with his feet locked by chains. He was talking delusionally, and it was not clear to me whether his chains were there to protect others or to protect him from himself.

A Deeper Faith

By Al Weir, MD | May 21, 2019

“…For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ…that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:8-11, ESV).

Tusculum

By Al Weir, MD | May 14, 2019

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7, NIV 1984).

I was visiting Ron today. I had been on the periphery of his medical care, but mostly he was my friend, stuck in his home with a stroke and a broken leg. After we had chatted awhile, I noticed a college diploma from Tusculum University and asked him where Tusculum was located.

Silent Listening

By Al Weir, MD | May 7, 2019

“And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, ‘Follow me’” (Mark 2:14a, ESV).

Arnie was retired from his orthopedic practice and helping lead the retreat for Christian doctors. He did not know it would be he who would be changed. Based on Dallas Willard’s book Hearing God, the retreat speaker challenged his audience, “I want you each to take the next five minutes and just listen to the Lord in silence.” After three minutes of silent listening, Arnie heard God ask him in the silence, “How are you spending your time?” From that moment, Arnie’s life was rearranged.

Christian Doctor’s Digest – May 2019

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | May 1, 2019

In this month’s podcast, Dr. David Stevens interviews healthcare missionary Dr. Eli Horn about his experiences with burnout. Next, he’s joined by Dr. John Chuck about personal health for healthcare professionals and how to create a balance between work and life.

“I Chose to Believe”

By Al Weir, MD | April 30, 2019

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer…” (Philippians 4:6, NASB).

Paul married a girl I grew up with. They worked in Christian ministry together, and then he developed cancer and died. While he was living with cancer, Paul sent out an update to friends and supporters. Within that update he wrote, “A few weeks after finishing my radiation treatments a friend asked me what I had come to know about God through my ordeal. I had been wrestling with many thoughts that very day, and I realized that everything came down to one thing: I had to either believe God’s Word, the Bible, or not.  I chose to believe. As a result, I understood in a new way that God is really sovereign and in control of my life and I am not.”

Saving Dogs

By Al Weir, MD | April 23, 2019

“He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned’” (Mark 16:15-16, NIV 1984).

I Still Need the Cross

By Al Weir, MD | April 16, 2019

“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life”  (1 Timothy 1:15-16, NIV 1984).

Testimony: Michael H. Clark, MD

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | April 15, 2019

Testimony of Michael H. Clark, MD
Against LD 1313
An Act to Enact the Maine Death with DignityAct

Underwater Breathing

By Al Weir, MD | April 9, 2019

“The Lord God…breathed into his nostrils the breath of life…” (Genesis 2:7, NIV 1984).

I did not read Dr. David Stevens’ email until late that evening when I finished rounds. The morning email had asked for prayer for his grandson’s near drowning and critical condition.

Plain Talk

By Al Weir, MD | April 2, 2019

Sometimes God “talks plain”—usually when our ears are stuffed with the wax of the world. In my own life, these plain-speaking times have not been pleasant. When God has had to “talk plain” in my life, it has been because I was headed in the wrong direction. His words were indeed clear, but they sounded like a two-by-four striking my skull.

Christian Doctor’s Digest – April 2019

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | April 1, 2019

In this month’s podcast, Dr. David Stevens is joined by Dr. Steve Manning, a physician from North Carolina who made the jump to Direct Primary Care. Next, he interviews Dr. Tim Elmore about his new book Marching Off the Map.

Witness by Proxy

By Al Weir, MD | March 26, 2019

“As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. Jesus would not let him, but said, ‘Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.’” (Mark 5:18-19, NIV 1984).

The Ptarmigan Trail

By Al Weir, MD | March 12, 2019

“‘What is truth?’ Pilate asked…” (John 18:38, NIV 1984).

I spoke again to my friend in the mountains, the one who follows Buddha rather than Christ, the one who suffered multiple surgeries from a skateboard accident. We met up again in Colorado when I was there recently for a medical conference. We climbed together to the Ptarmigan Lakes at 12,500 feet, wrapped in the grandeur of God’s creation. I shared the gospel and he shared his faith in Buddhism.

Christian Doctor’s Digest – March 2019

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | March 11, 2019

The March 2019 issue of Christian Doctor’s Digest… we’re talking about getting together with old friends from organizations that we have worked with for many years. Our guests are Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, CEO of Nurses Christian Fellowship and John Stonestreet, host of Breakpoint.

Mountain Wonder

By Al Weir, MD | March 5, 2019

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3, NIV 1984).

This Forgiveness Thing

By Al Weir, MD | March 4, 2019

“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins” (Mark 11:25, NIV 1984).

We were sitting in a circle, the windows around us open to the East Tennessee Mountains, a group of Christian healthcare professionals sharing personal prayer requests. Andy is in his mid-seventies. He hemmed and hawed a bit before he paused and spit it out, “I need prayer for this forgiveness thing we’ve been talking about.” He paused again, as if almost holding it in, and then continued, “I’ve been divorced 21 years. I know I have forgiven her a number of times for leaving me, but it keeps popping up and interferes with all my thinking. I need your prayers to just settle it.”

Blue Heeler Love

By Al Weir, MD | February 26, 2019

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34, NIV 1984).

He was there to check his iron levels, a bit younger than I with a black, bushy beard. I asked him about the deep scratches on his arms.
“That’s from my dog,” he said.
“What kind of dog do you have?”
“A pit bull,” he said.
“I’d get another kind of dog,” I said, touching the scars on his arms.
“I had two dogs,” he continued.  “One of them gave his life for me. I was walking through the woods and nearly stepped on a copperhead. He would’ve struck me, but my blue heeler jumped out and took the bite right in his neck. My pit bull then attacked the snake, took a strike in the face, but killed the snake.”
“What happened to your heeler?”
“He disappeared in the woods for two days. I found him, but he died five days later. That dog died for me.”

Wanting the Healer

By Al Weir, MD | February 19, 2019

“…for I am the Lord, who heals you” (Exodus 15:26b, NIV 1984).

He was a bit short of breath as he sat on the side of his bed, trying to regain his strength after a therapy complication had placed him on dialysis.
“I think we will hold your cancer treatment for a few weeks,” I told him.
“That will be good,” he said. “It makes me weak.”
“We need you to get your strength back and then we can deal with all your other stuff,” I continued.
He nodded, and then, after a pause for reflection, added, “You know, Cathy and I have decided that we are going to start seeking the Healer more than the healing.”

The Grace of Healing

By Al Weir, MD | February 12, 2019

“Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!’ Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured” (Mark 1:41-42, NIV 1984).

Thus far he had beaten two cancers, along with chronic hepatitis and severe peripheral vascular disease.
I told him, “You have had more bad happen to you than most anybody I know. You are really an overcomer. Why do you think God has been so good to you?”
“Grace,” he said. “God has just treated me special. I know lots of other folks who had what I got and they didn’t make it.”
“Why are you special?” I asked.
“No reason. I don’t deserve it.”

A Bad Dream

By Al Weir, MD | February 5, 2019

On the first day of my week away from work at the CMDA National Convention, my wife told me, “I had this horrible dream last night.” Now, I’m used to my wife occasionally sharing bad dreams with me, none of which have ever come true; so, I asked her for the details. “I was on this spiral stairway, leading to who knows where. Nora Jane (our 3-year-old granddaughter) was on the bottom step, but the bottom step dropped off into a long fall. A big man was coming down the stairs above me and Nora Jane is afraid of big men. I was scared to death when she looked up in fright and backed off the step into nothingness. I cried out to you and you just stood there looking into your phone.”

Christian Doctor’s Digest – February 2019

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | February 2, 2019

The February 2019 issue of Christian Doctor’s Digest…A look into hospitality as a way to evangelize within the home. Conservative Christians admit that they do not speak out on political or cultural issues because they do not know how to support their beliefs from a biblical basis. We’ll look at how to defend the Gospel. And finally, the demands of cross-cultural ministry can be overwhelming and draining, leading to discouragement and burnout. We’ll learn how to live the holy, faithful lives God intends for us.

The Band Director

By Al Weir, MD | January 29, 2019

Thad Williams underwent the first bone marrow transplant in Memphis when we treated him for his Burkitt’s lymphoma years ago. He and his wife Cathy became dear friends, bound together by their struggle and by our mutual love for the Lord Jesus Christ. Thad survived the transplant and lived more than 15 additional years before God called him home. Today, my wife and I attended Cathy’s last concert as band director in her city’s high school, a school system she served for 37 years. It was a celebration of Cathy’s life. Many speakers described her accomplishments and lauded her with words like: kindness, competence, mentor, passion and determination—words that well describe our Lord when He walked the earth. With such praise surrounding her, Cathy conducted her final concert as band director, ending with a magnificent arrangement of “God of Our Fathers.”

Goals for the Day

By Al Weir, MD | January 22, 2019

Dr. Dave Hafer is a retired maxillofacial surgeon in Montana. He and his wife Bobbie took up painting to fill the Montana winters. They are both incredibly talented and love their new avocation. They love it so much that Dave took it to the Lord and asked Him, “Don’t let this be just for us. Show us how to use it for your glory.” And they have, repeatedly auctioning their work to raise funds for Christian ministries. Last year when they attended a conference for Christian women physicians, an attendee asked him, “Would you consider letting me commission you to do a painting?” Dave replied, “I guess I can do that. What did you have in mind?” The physician answered, “I want a picture of heaven. I want to place it on my office wall so that every morning when I arrive for work, I am reminded of my goal for the day.”

Five Questions

By Al Weir, MD | January 15, 2019

This week Ron was in his wheelchair, at the end of his journey with cancer. I asked him if he had any fears.

“No, I am all right. I know where I am going.”

“That’s great,” I said. “We were reading John 11 in Bible study this week and I have been reassured about my own death.”

“I love John 14:2,” he said. “In my Father’s house are many rooms…” (NIV 1984).

“You are right on,” I said. “You should also check out John 11:25.”

Right of Conscience

By Al Weir, MD | January 8, 2019

He spoke softly but confidently, without bitterness, as he described how he had been removed as chief of psychiatry at his medical university because he had voiced concern over the psychological effects of transgender transformation. It was he who had built the department from four psychiatrists to 17, and the 17 had voted him out. As I left the auditorium, another physician’s husband stopped me, “Do you know my wife may soon be incarcerated?” He then described a new bill moving through their state’s legislature that will make it a crime for physicians not to refer their pregnant patients for abortions when they ask.

Christian Doctor’s Digest – January 2019

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | January 2, 2019

The January 2019 issue of Christian Doctor’s Digest…Moral relativism is at the heart of most of our currently contentious issues relating to sexual freedom: the sanctity of life and the ordering of virtue. Also, what have we learned over the last decade about stem cells? There is enormous potential for medicine, but the debate is, “Where do we get the cells?”

The Jones Dictum

By Al Weir, MD | January 2, 2019

We met for two hours and worked for the Lord—an important ministry in Christian healthcare. Our future work was time sensitive, so we scheduled a telephone conference for the nine of us. The time chosen by the committee was a night when I was on vacation with my family. As an overworking doctor, I gather all of my kids and grandkids once a year to enjoy life together. The committee’s telephone time would land during dinner on one of those vacation nights…and I have spent too many years choosing work and ministry over family. As trivial as it may seem to many who serve the Lord sacrificially, and as atypical as it has been for me in the past, I told the committee, “I won’t miss dinner with my family. I’ll join you once our fellowship is finished.”

Merry Christmas: A Physician’s Take

By Andrè Van Mol, MD | December 27, 2018

Luke’s gospel gives the most complete and careful detailing of the setting, annunciation, gestation and birth of Christ, as one would expect from a person of medicine. In this week’s blog post, Dr. Andre Van Mol explores the gospel account of Christ’s birth.

As Best I Can

By Al Weir, MD | December 26, 2018

He sat across me with a swelling on his arm, one-fifth the size it had been before. “You know you are a miracle, don’t you?” I asked. “Most people with your cancer would be in heaven now.”

“He doesn’t want to talk about heaven,” his wife answered for him.

“My brother is a preacher,” he said. “I don’t talk to him much. I’ve been good as best I can.”

“That won’t get you there,” his wife responded.

“If you love Jesus, that will get you there,” I suggested.

He changed the subject, and we finished our medical business. He really was miraculously improved.

A Wrong Turn on the Right Path?

By D. Joy Riley MD, MA (Ethics) | December 20, 2018

An international outcry occurred after Chinese scientist He Jiankui announced that he and his team had edited human embryos in an attempt to produce children who are resistant to HIV, cholera and smallpox. In this week’s blog post, Dr. Joy Riley explores this topic from an ethical perspective.

Asking

By Al Weir, MD | December 18, 2018

He had a Santa Claus beard but little hair on top. I told him, “You know, you are one of the few over 60 who has been cured of their acute leukemia.”

“Yes, I know,” he said.

“I hope you are telling folks how God has blessed you. “

“I am,” he said. “One thing I tell folks a lot is about the day my wife came in one early morning and saw the sunrise coming into the hospital. I had been having an uncontrolled fever for 10 days. She looked at the sun and prayed to God, ‘Dear God, burn it out.’ That morning after she left, I felt a deep burning inside. I fell off to sleep, harder than I had been sleeping in a long time. About 10:30 I woke up, and I was hungry, and my fever was gone and never returned.”

Nonconsensual Intimate Physical Examinations: Time to Stop

By Robert E. Cranston, MD, MA (Ethics) | December 13, 2018

Recently, a law professor I was breakfasting with asked an interesting question, “Is it ethical to perform pelvic exams on patients who are under anesthesia without their permission?” My immediate response was a quick, “No!” and then, “That is something that was done in the distant past, but the question was settled long ago. Without permission, this would be battery, essentially rape.”

“I’ve Got This.”

By Al Weir, MD | December 11, 2018

You know how it is, or, if you don’t, someday you will. Sleepless nights, where you fall asleep dead tired and awaken at 3 a.m., either to get up and read or toss until morning, begging your mind to shut off. Usually these nights are related to a financial worry, a hurting in one you love or the cumulative effect of a highly stressful week. Well, I’ve had four straight nights of this, trusting God fully in the daylight but not in my dreams. Last night, it was 3 a.m. again, wide awake, focused on the unsolvable issue, dreading my fatigue for the next day. But this time, after praying once again for God to take my burden, I fell asleep. I was running this morning when I heard God speak, in His clear, inaudible voice, “I’ve got this.”

Can Transgender Activism Silence Science?

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | December 6, 2018

Vice President for Government Relations Jonathan Imbody discusses the lawsuit CMDA has been involved in regarding the transgender mandate, and how a new rule from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is expected soon.

The “H” in Hospice Stands for “Hope”

By James Avery, MD | December 5, 2018

When I asked him if there were any other hopes he had at this stage of his life, he just shrugged and said, “Nope, all my hopes are in you guys – the medical profession.” He died three weeks later tragically clinging to tomorrow’s news.

A Biblical Perspective on End of Life Issues

By John Dunlop MD | December 5, 2018

How should Christians come to the end of life? What is the appropriate use of technology to prolong life? How can we assure that when our time to die comes we will do it in answer to the call of God rather than because all of the technology of modern medicine has been exhausted?

Overcomers

By Al Weir, MD | December 4, 2018

I was surprised to see his name on the schedule, as he had completed his therapy a few years ago. However, in spite of chemotherapy and radiation, his cancer had recently returned and required a laryngectomy. I was seeing him for the first time after this surgery—complicated by a stroke and a pulmonary embolus. He was not the same proud man I remembered. My first words to him were, “I am so sorry you have had such suffering with your stroke and with your voice gone. Can you overcome all of this?” He looked me in the eyes, then looked to my lapel, touched the gold cross pinned there and nodded with assurance.

Trusting Vaccines

By Amy Givler, MD | November 29, 2018

Worldwide, only clean water has saved more lives than vaccines. Wild smallpox has been eliminated, and polio nearly so. Twelve other major diseases that were the scourge of mankind have been controlled. So why would anyone not want to control disease? Dr. Amy Givler delves into this question in this week’s blog post on The Point.

Christian Doctor’s Digest – December 2018

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | November 28, 2018

The December 2018 issue of Christian Doctor’s Digest deals with the topic of Grace and how we can apply to what is going on in our culture today. Phillip Yancey shares from his book Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to The Good News? as he focuses on the search for honest faith that makes a difference for a world in pain. Then Joe Gregory joins Dr. David Stevens to look back at God’s Grace that He gave to CMDA with their relationship and the growth to the organization that came through it.

Standing Against Physician-Assisted Suicide in Family Medicine

By David Stevens, MD, MA (Ethics) | November 28, 2018

The American Academy of Family Physicians’ (AAFP) Congress of Delegates recently voted during their annual meeting to change their Hippocratic position on assisted suicide to a position of “engaged neutrality.” In this week’s blog post, Dr. David Stevens discusses how dangerous this decision is, and what you can do to get involved.

Bull’s Eye Living

By Al Weir, MD | November 27, 2018

I had the opportunity today to visit my friend, imprisoned outside of San Diego. As this is a government institution, it worked like the government often does, and the computerized visitation scheduling had not functioned well the week before. I arrived at 7:30 and watched other visitors line up by time slots painted in the pavement. I asked what I should do without a time assigned and they told me that they may or may not be able to get me in if I hung around until 11 or 11:30. I was due back at my conference at noon and stood there wondering if I should stay and take the chance. I remained and saw my friend.

Title X Family Planning Program

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | November 26, 2018

Dr. Foley explains that non-profit entities, such as community health centers, pregnancy resource centers and others, could serve either as primary grantees serving a state or a particular patient population, or as sub-grantees specializing in certain services.

Assigning Motives

By Al Weir, MD | November 20, 2018

I have recently begun managing a patient who had originally been cared for in a distant city. Unfortunately, his cancer has returned. He now needs multiple doctors to attempt to save his arm and his life. One doctor he is seeing now was furious that the prior doctor had treated him inadequately. He actually told my patient, “You need to sue the doctor who did this.”

The Lure of Money

By Autumn Dawn Galbreath, MD, MBA | November 15, 2018

In this week’s blog post, Dr. Autumn Dawn Galbreath discusses the topic of money and how easy it is to compare ourselves to others and how much more money they have than we do. How does God call us to view our possessions?

Chipping Away the Sin

By Al Weir, MD | November 13, 2018

I hurt a Christian friend this week. We work with shared responsibilities, and my frustration over his part in this had grown to the point that I just boiled over and listed all of his delinquencies. I was not cruel or untruthful in my delivery, but I was not kind either, and I hurt him deeply. The Lord pounded me for three days, the last one ending in a sleepless night. And then, I went to ask forgiveness.

Christian Doctor’s Digest – November 2018

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | November 12, 2018

In this month’s podcast, Dr. David Stevens is first joined by Cary Summers, the president of Museum of the Bible. Next, he interviews author Christopher Yuan about his new book Holy Sexuality and the Gospel.

Treating Patients or Creating New Patients with Technology

By David Prentice, PhD | November 8, 2018

In this week’s blog post, Dr. David Prentice discusses how emerging technologies offer opportunities for development of useful therapeutic interventions, but they can also offer temptations to rush ahead with risky, scientifically unproven and ethically questionable applications.

Rushing Waters

By Al Weir, MD | November 7, 2018

I awoke Monday morning planning within the week to teach a Bible study on our personal testimony for Christ. As I stood in front of the mirror, shaving, I realized what a poor witness for Christ I have been, at least in words. So, for the entire week, when I was with my patients, I intentionally listened for the Holy Spirit, asking Him that I might bring up the name of Jesus at least once. Though God has used me for personal witness in the past, He did not this week in words that I could recognize, or else, I chose not to hear Him.

The Pursuit of Truth—Not Politics—Should Guide Research

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | November 5, 2018

The contentious confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh mirrored a less outwardly raucous, though equally intense, conflict in the scientific and research community. Our country, our culture and the scientific community appear at a crossroads. We are determining the extent to which objectivity, evidence and reason—as opposed to bias, ideology and emotion—will shape our conclusions and our policies.

Transing California Foster Children & Why Doctors Like Us Opposed It

By Andrè Van Mol, MD | October 28, 2018

California’s AB2119 should not be law. Signing the bill is a triumph of ideology posing as science. Human beings should be affirmed, not false identities and sexual confusion.