SPECIAL NOTE: There is a new email address that we will be using at NEOCMDA. It is
* Friday, May 10th ~
from Chairman Mike Chen
Dear NEOCMDA members and friends,
Greetings in Christ! Just wanted to share a little story that happened to me recently while I was with a 3rd year Case student. I have a patient of mine who lost his wife to pancreatic cancer 3 years ago. He is a believer who I walked alongside through her illness and passing. About a year ago, he mentioned that he had met a lady and that they were dating. Honestly I was pretty happy for him- it had been hard for him to lose his wife. At the last visit 3 months ago, he mentioned that they had gone on some trip together. A little concerned for him for purity's sake, I asked him if they had been intimate together. This was a bit of a risk. During our retreat Sunday morning, I addressed the issue of bringing issues of sin to light during our discussion. I had known this brother for years and felt, even if it was an uncomfortable question, it was something, if I cared for him as a brother in Christ, that I should ask, especially as someone who was watching out for his soul.
Sin has a way of causing us to live in darkness and creating distance in our relationship with God. I lost 10 years of my friendship to my best friend because I was afraid to gently confront him about the sin in his life. However, it is something that I want, by God's grace to be willing to engage, even if it can be awkward. My patient answered honestly, he had been intimate with her. I shared what he already knew, that God's design for sex was only in context of marriage and that he and his girlfriend, (who also a believer) were engaged in fornication, which is sin in God's eyes. Someone who says that they are a Christian and yet engages in chronic unrepentant sin is in a dangerous place- and I wanted to warn him against it. I didn't say all that much -- mentioning that I was not without sin myself and yet God calls us, when we sin to come to repentance, receive the blood of Christ to cover us and to get back up and engage in the battle again. Humbly and contritely, he thanked me for bringing this to light and promised to address the issue. "If you love her, then marry her," I told him as he got ready to leave. In some sense, to him it felt like a relief not to be living in the darkness.
Today he came in, three months later, and the first thing he does is pull out his phone and show me the pictures of his wedding. Prompted by the Holy Spirit, working through his doctor who cared for him enough to bring God's Word to bear in his life, he saw his sin, repented from it and now is able to enjoy all the blessings of marriage, forgiven by God's grace. He was grateful and totally willing for me to share his story with Lauren, who seemed to be quite provoked by it. (She is a believer as well).
I share this story, not because I'm that great -- you all know about the magnitude of my failures as a man and husband, but merely to point out that God's grace is more powerful than our failures and that it is never too late to "save others from the pit" (Jude 1:22) -- this is part of providing spiritual care to people, & it is not just for people who aren't believers. This type of conversation takes wisdom, gentleness and discernment. Fortunately the Holy Spirit is poured out upon us so that we have it... we just need to ask. By God's grace, this brother is back to walking in full fellowship with his Savior.
grace and peace to you this Advent Season,
Mike Chen, MD
* Winter Retreat @ CVNP
December 1-2, 2018
The NEOCMDA group recently had our Winter Retreat at the lovely Cuyahoga Valley National Park. We had over 55 in attendance & an amazing group of speakers:
Leigh-Ann Brisbin (www.freetobeministries.org)
Debbi Sands (www.freetobeministries.org)
Pastor Mark Reitinger
Dr. Rick Rasper
Dr. Bud (Charles) Hurst
Dr. Phyllis Nsiah-Kumi
Dr. Jason Tuckerman (future NEOCMDA Chairman)
Dr. Mike Chen (current NEOCMDA Chairman)
To see additional photos from the weekend, please click on the link below:
* Celebration 2018
It was a joy & a blessing to hear stories about the God's faithfulness from our speakers Dr. Rajini Poth & Dr. Michael Forbes, as well as have a chance to celebrate our 2018 Graduates at the 2018 Celebration event. If you missed our wonderful evening, feel free to check out this video to see & hear how powerfully God was at work:
Biomedical Christian Fellowship
The Biomedical Christian Fellowship encompasses students, physicians, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists, and other healthcare professionals who reside, practice and serve in the Northeast Ohio region. This fellowship meets regularly throughout the year and brings in many dynamic speakers from around the region, country, or world. The purpose of this group is to provide an avenue for community and fellowship, encourage faith in medicine, and to advance God's kingdom through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Dr. Michael Joyce - firstname.lastname@example.org
Debbie Joyce - email@example.com
Side by Side Wives Ministry