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CMDA Today – Spring 2024

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | February 28, 2024

In the winter 2023 edition of CMDA Today, Dr. Karl Benzio shares how to help patients navigate the extremely complex route to detransition. Plus, discover practical ways to advocate for the sanctity of life, how to use Faith Prescriptions to develop realistic patient expectations, how to follow God’s calling to serve others and more.

Psychiatric Insights for Treating Detransitioners: Equipping Healthcare Professionals

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | November 30, 2023

The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that systems tend toward maximum entropy, disorganization or chaos. Since 1950, society’s transition into postmodernism—where relativism replaces an agreed upon series of absolutes and truth—marked a pivot point accelerating chaos. When God’s truth is ignored, Satan and the world’s small lies gain traction and, if not corrected, accelerate to absurdity level. Over the last 30 years, growing absurdities about how sex/gender are determined led to an exponential increase of atrocities in the form of “voluntary and willful” chemical upheaval, surgical castration, sterilization and mutilation destroying not just young healthy bodies, but also severely damaging the associated minds and spirits.

Commit and Engage – Letter from the President

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | November 30, 2023

I came to know Christ my first week in college at University of California, Davis (UC Davis). I wasn’t in a bad place or even seeking out spiritual fulfillment, but I was intrigued by my next-door dorm neighbor who was definitely high on something. It happened to be Jesus.

Volunteering: It’s a Lifestyle

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | November 30, 2023

When you first begin considering the idea of volunteering, the simple thought might be overwhelming for a busy healthcare professional who’s trying to balance obligations at work, at home, at church, in the clinic, on campus and across a host of other areas. It’s no surprise that many of us in healthcare would steer far away from volunteering because there are just not enough hours in the day, not to mention enough margin in our schedules.

Doctors as gods (and What to Do About It)

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | November 30, 2023

A group of colleagues and myself met recently to discuss episode 16 of CMDA’s Faith Prescriptions video series at a Christian clinic in Yorktown, Virginia. Episode leader Dr. Farr Curlin states regarding the practice of medicine, “We should make use of it, it’s a gift of God, but don’t put our hope in it, as if it is the physician who saves.”

21st Century Savagery and Hamas: How Do We Understand Evil?

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | November 30, 2023

The savagery of Hamas in Israel has been on everyone’s mind in recent weeks. Most political leaders, including respected Saudi leaders, have expressed their horror at what was done. The killing of civilians, including women and children, plus the mutilation and degradation of dead bodies, is impossible to defend. The depravity of Hamas fighters is undeniable.

Organized Medicine and the Response to Dobbs: Seeking Crucial and Constructive Conversations

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | November 30, 2023

On June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a landmark decision in which the court held that the U.S. Constitution does not confer a right to abortion.[1] A number of medical professional organizations responded to the decision with public statements. These responses were framed around themes including affirmation of patient autonomy, protection of the doctor-patient relationship, preservation of abortion experience in the training environment and protection of disparately affected populations.

CMDA Today – Winter 2023

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | November 30, 2023

In the winter 2023 edition of CMDA Today, Dr. Karl Benzio shares how to help patients navigate the extremely complex route to detransition. Plus, discover practical ways to advocate for the sanctity of life, how to use Faith Prescriptions to develop realistic patient expectations, how to follow God’s calling to serve others and more.

I can’t be pregnant!

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | September 14, 2023

I saw the patient was young and figured her history wouldn’t be complicated. As I walked into the procedure room to introduce myself, little did I know just how complex this visit would become.

CMDA Ethics Statement: Disagreement Among Christians on Bioethical Issues

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | September 13, 2023

Throughout the history of the church, there have been times when Christians have disagreed with one another in the pursuit of truth. The causes for this are many. Human knowledge is limited, and sometimes sources of knowledge can be interpreted differently.

The Gift of Redemption

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | September 13, 2023

Over time, we began fighting about everything. We once believed we had so much in common, but we concluded we had nothing in common at all. Our fights would last days, sometimes turning into weeks and months.

The Importance of Trust—Not Something Created by Taking Courses in Ethics

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | September 13, 2023

If we attempt to write a list of the people we really trust and then try to work out why we trust them, it is clearly not explained by level of education, wealth, privilege or oppression.

Healthcare Response to Human Trafficking

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | September 13, 2023

The passage of Scripture that cemented my love for the Lord, and certainly helped me understand His love for us, is found in Luke 4:18. Reading from a passage originally found in Isaiah, Jesus stands in the synagogue and declares, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised” (KJV). It also served as a roadmap for the rest of my life, and I believe it is a roadmap for us all.

CMDA Today – Fall 2023

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | September 13, 2023

In this edition of CMDA Today, Protecting Conscience in Healthcare, Helping Patients Navigate an Unplanned Pregnancy, How God redeemed a marriage using CMDA’s Side By Side ministry, Equipping the healthcare community to respond to the human trafficking crisis, Preserving biblical unity amongst Christian healthcare professionals with differing views, and Foundations built on trust sustain stronger culture.

What Foundation Do Ideas of Ethics Have if Darwin is Right?

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | June 1, 2023

Charles Darwin’s great idea was that biological change could be endless if small, beneficial, naturally occurring variations could be selectively preserved and grow because of initially small survival advantages. He provided no theory of beginnings, only of process, which did not concern him too much because Aristotle’s belief in the eternity of matter had not been disproved. Furthermore, micro-evolution occurs all the time as Darwin describes so beautifully in the first chapter of On the Origin of Species.

Theology of Mythology: Of God and gods, Angels and Demons

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | June 1, 2023

The people of ancient Palestine in Israel and Judea saw angels in anthropomorphic form, and they encountered demons inhabiting humans and animals. The angels (or even the Trinity) could eat at their table, unlock gates and move stones.

A Bearded Child, a Djembe and Faith

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | June 1, 2023

These last few months have squeezed our family like a grape. We have six kids aged eight and under—including infant twins, Ford and Eleanor, who joined our family in summer 2022. We are also about to move the whole Morris clan to Papua New Guinea in 2023 to serve as healthcare missionaries. I am sure you can imagine that our lives are as calm as a clam.

Unity Among the Members of Christ; Letter from the President

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | June 1, 2023

Christianity is a team sport. As team players, we need to get on the same page of the playbook so we can work in a coordinated effort to accomplish the goal of winning the lost and glorifying God in our lives and in our organization.

Don’t Use Ice Picks for Brain Surgery

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | June 1, 2023

The first time I ever heard of a lobotomy was in the early 1980s. I was a medical student, but I didn’t learn about it in class. Instead, I was in a darkened room with a bunch of other family members, watching a family home movie filmed 30 years earlier.

A Letter to Christian Physicians

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | June 1, 2023

In the beginning, a PA worked for a physician. With extensive prior medical experience and accelerated training in the medical model, a PA worked for a physician who had a practice vision that needed PAs truly to be physician extenders.

CMDA Today – Summer 2023

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | June 1, 2023

SUMMER 2023 Online Version EvolutionSummer 2023 What Foundation Do Ideas of Ethics Have if Darwin is Right? June 1, 2023 Charles Darwin’s great idea was that biological change could be endless if small, beneficial, naturally occurring variations could be selectively preserved and grow because of initially small survival advantages. He provided no theory of beginnings,…

Save and Support Lives with Abortion Pill Reversal

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | March 23, 2023

Rebecca had eight months to go before finishing nursing school and was in an unhealthy relationship when she found out she was pregnant. She had no car and little income, and she certainly did not feel ready to have a baby.

Joy for the Journey

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | March 23, 2023

On my first day of service with CMDA in 2016, I attended the annual Healthcare Missions Leadership Summit. We were welcomed by Dr. Joshua Bogunjoko, the International Director of Sudan Interior Mission (SIM), who challenged attendees to carefully monitor their joy levels in ministry.

Who Holds the Judges Accountable or Can We Be Good Without God?

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | March 23, 2023

On November 24, 2022, the National Post reported that one in six women in Canada have had an abortion, and most of them think they made the right choice and therefore do not need to repent. A mere 10 percent regret their abortion. If Christianity is true, then everyone needs the gift of repentance.

Advocating the Justice Priorities of Jesus

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | March 23, 2023

In 2021 the CMDA Board of Trustees assigned nine strategic initiatives to the staff of CMDA for completion over a three-year period. One of the two initiatives placed under the advocacy was to align its advocacy with policies where Jesus has the greatest concern.

Moral Distress and Moral Injury in Healthcare

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | March 23, 2023

Moral distress and moral injury are relatively new terms, but the problems they reflect are ancient. They address the need to face moral challenges with the integrity of an undivided heart.

Disciples in Dentistry

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | March 23, 2023

When we meet someone new, one of the first questions we often ask is, “What do you do?” What we do is often the thing that largely defines us in broad strokes or gives us our identity.

CMDA Today – Spring 2023

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | March 22, 2023

In the Spring 2023 Edition of Today’s Christian Doctor, David and Katie Musser in the CMDA Residency [+] program, Dr. Jeffrey Barrows on applying the commands of Jesus to Christian advocacy in the public square, Eric Hussar, MD. discusses Abortion Pill Reversal, Dr. John Patrick on the source for morality in a post Christian world, and much more.

CMDA Today

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | March 22, 2023

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.

Members

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | March 22, 2023

CMDA’s exclusive member portal for content provided to our members only.

CMDA Today – Winter 2022

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | December 1, 2022

In the Winter 2022 Edition of CMDA Today, Building a Foundation to Recovery by David Holmes, MD, Healing from the Violence of Busyness by Emmy Yang, MD, MTS, Your Body Will Be Whole, by Kathryn Butler, MD, Losing Our Language to Bureaucratic Jargon by John Patrick, MD; and more!

The Season of Light Around the World

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | November 10, 2022

As the trappings of the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons emerge around us in North America, things look and feel quite different for our colleagues serving around the world. For cross-cultural missionaries serving far from home, this time of year is complicated.

Losing Our Language to Bureaucratic Jargon

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | November 10, 2022

As is often the case, this quarterly column is heavily dependent on my current reading. This time it is Roger Scruton’s Fools, Frauds and Firebrands. Healthcare professionals are being pressured into all sorts of actions, actions which make them uncomfortable and undermine their deepest commitment to the good of the patient.

Your Body Will Be Whole: Meditations on Heaven

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | November 10, 2022

During my surgical training, I helped care for an aging professor who bemoaned his declining health. His mind still moved in academic circles, pondering the high points of chemistry and physics, but arthritis had so fused the bones in his neck that he couldn’t nestle into a pillow anymore.

Healing from the Violence of Busyness: Five Biblical and Theological Reflections on Time and Work

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | November 10, 2022

When a medical code alert went off, my team took the stairs and not the elevators to save us precious seconds in the resuscitation. A “good” intern, I learned, gets their notes done as soon as possible.

A Time to EMBRACE Recovery

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | November 10, 2022

As those called to the healing profession, we have all lived and practiced through old and unprecedented new challenges in our careers. We can all agree the last few years have surely been unlike any we have ever experienced before in our lives.

Resilience in the Face of Personal and Organizational Adversity

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | September 10, 2022

Try as we may, adversity is unavoidable. Often unexpected, hardship comes into our lives in a variety of forms and levels—a cancer diagnosis, a harsh public criticism, a mistake or accident with a detrimental outcome, an economic downturn or even a pandemic or natural disaster.

The Landmark Decision: Finally Granting Life to the Pre-born

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | September 10, 2022

In June 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court finally corrected the debacle of the Roe v. Wade decision, ending 49 years of federal judicial fiat allowing legal abortion in all 50 states.

Mentoring: All You Need is F.A.I.T.H.

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | September 10, 2022

My freshman year of college brought a multitude of surprises. Certainly, there was the increased study load and the idea that I alone had to manage myself, my time and my schedule, yet the biggest surprise I experienced was when the God of the universe radically changed my life and the trajectory of my future.

Turning the World Right-side Up!

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | September 10, 2022

Paul was accused of seditious behavior—disturbing the peace, turning the world upside down—simply for speaking publicly about Jesus, and he was imprisoned for it. The Christian community, particularly evangelicals, have largely avoided turning the world upside down.

God Sightings

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | September 10, 2022

I have never felt closer to God than when I’ve stepped outside my comfort zone and said “yes” to serving Him, especially those difficult first couple of times. Despite the fear, once you step out in faith, you can see how God works not only through you but in you.

Staying Connected During School When Chaos and Isolation Abound

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | September 10, 2022

Sent home, shut in isolation, studying in our bedrooms, trying to survive our first year of medical school, and we weren’t even at school! When the four of us entered medical school in the Detroit, Michigan area in fall of 2020, it certainly trumped any expectations we had.

When Our Patients Pray for Us

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | September 10, 2022

As a Christian who’s been practicing periodontics for 29 years, I’ve had numerous opportunities to share my faith and pray with my patients. A number of my patients have expressed their appreciation for having a fellow Christian responsible for their care.

CMDA Today – Fall 2022

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | September 1, 2022

In the Fall 2022 edition of CMDA Today, mentoring- contributing to the success of the next generation, the landmark Dobbs case decision, organizational diversity, being on the receiving end of prayer in healthcare, staying connected during school isolation; and more!

What is Distinctive about Christian Ethics?

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | June 15, 2022

Being different can be dangerous, but we are called to be different. Our Lord told us doing so would bring persecution, but through those experiences, He would be with us, and we would be aware of it, and it would produce joy. Stephen was the first example, but it continues to this day.

CMDA Plays Major Humanitarian Role in The Russian/Ukranian War

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | June 15, 2022

On a CMDA Matters podcast in March 2022, CEO of International Christian Medical & Dental Associations (ICMDA) Dr. Peter Saunders and Ukraine Medical Outreach (UMO) President Dr. Jim Peipon shared with CMDA CEO Dr. Mike Chupp about how they responded to the medical needs created by the war between Russia and Ukraine.

The Path of Life: My Journey to Help Rescue the Pre-born

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | June 15, 2022

As I look back on my path, I realize that what God used to guide my steps weren’t earth-shattering events, but rather small moments that probably seemed inconsequential to others. To me, however, those moments brought me to a place where I could see God’s mercy and power in ways I never imagined.

Training Medical Students to Care for Patients in Spanish

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

In the United States there are about 57 million Hispanic individuals, and approximately 40 percent of those have limited English proficiency. Research shows that language-discordance, where the patient and the clinician do not speak the same language, results in reduced access to health information, decreased satisfaction with care and worse health outcomes.

CMDA Today – Summer 2022

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | June 1, 2022

In the Summer 2022 edition of CMDA Today, find out how one doctor discovered her passion and calling for the pre-born; hear about how a medical school is also training students in Spanish; learn how CMDA is playing a major role in the Ukranian war; explore with our columnist, Dr. John Patrick, how Christian ethics in healthcare today differs from its secular counterpart; and more!

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.

How to De-stress Your Distress

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | February 14, 2022

The Oxford English Dictionary defines distress as extreme anx­iety, sorrow or pain. If that description sounds familiar and you are feeling like your stress level has progressed to a state of dis­tress, you are not alone. Scripture includes multiple examples of strong leaders who served in a state of distress.

CMDA Today – Spring 2022

By Christian Medical & Dental Associations® | February 14, 2022

In the Spring 2022 edition of CMDA Today, learn how God’s Word can help you de-stress, hear from a doctor about how she believes the healthcare industry should return to its roots, join CMDA in welcoming two new missions ministries, receive continuing education credit for a new course on transgender identification, follow Dr. John Patrick’s bioethics column and more!

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.