Excerpt from my book “Memoirs of a Doctor“

Excerpt from “Memoirs of a Doctor” (Pages 98 to 116)

BACK AGAIN TO IPOH

In 2003, after 5 years in New Zealand, I moved back to Ipoh, Malaysia with my wife and my youngest son. My two older sons stayed back in New Zealand to pursue their own careers, one as a medical undergraduate and the other as a dental undergraduate student.

In Ipoh, I joined the Perak Community Specialist Hospital as a Resident Cardiologist and Physician, and KPJ Ipoh Specialist Center as a Visiting Cardiologist and Physician.

Private practice in Ipoh was demanding and labour intensive. I had to manage a very busy outpatient clinic. Then there were cardiology procedures to do, invasive, non-invasive, interventional, and emergency procedures. I had to be on call 24/7. My REM sleep was frequently interrupted, and I was also exposed to a lot of radiation – which took quite a toll on my health.

My social life was severely disrupted. Time management was important to avoid burning out. Every few years, I would take substantial time off from my work as a form of sabbatical leave to rewind, recharge and regain balance – to ensure that I did not burnout. For me, at this juncture, studying in the bible college was a form of sabbatical leave.

A CALLING, NOT JUST A CAREER

The nature of my work was such that I would be called up in the oddest hours of the day to attend to patients. When everyone was asleep, I would be working.

There were many times I was called up from 3am to 7am to attend to patients and I had to be back at work again by 9am that very same day! This was and is part and parcel of a doctor’s life. To me, it was always more than a career or vocation – it was a calling and a passion!

Perhaps to some degree, my only regret is that I did not have more time to bond with my sons as they were growing up. But I remember telling bible stories, including one of favourites – David and Goliath, to my youngest son Joel every night before he went to sleep.

Now that they are all adults and have their own children, they are not very close to me. If I have the chance to go back in time, I would like to do it differently. But God willing, there will still be the chance to do it right again with my grandchildren.

MARKETPLACE SOUL-WINNER

In the course of my private practice, I was also a marketplace soul-winner. I shared the gospel with many of my patients using my office as a pulpit. Consequently, many of them came to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour as I led them to recite the sinner’s prayer. For patients who were already Christians, I prayed for them whenever they came to see me.

In Ipoh, we attended the Holy Cross Lutheran Church. We also signed up for weekly Bible seminar classes which were taught by an anointed Pastor from Kuala Lumpur.

We followed him through the book of Genesis to the book of Revelation – a very in-depth study of the entire 66 books of the Bible, over a span of 16 years. This gave me a very solid exegetical and hermeneutical foundation of both the Old and New Testaments.

PILGRIMAGE TO THE HOLY LAND

I also accompanied this Pastor on pilgrimages to the Holy Land twice – in 2005 and 2019. Amazingly, the Bible just came alive when I visited key places mentioned in the bible – the Sea of Galilee, Mount Carmel, Bethlehem, Joppa, Mount of Olives,

Western Wall, Shiloh, The Temple Mount, City of David, Magdala, Capernaum, En Gedi, Via Dolorosa, Garden Tomb, Gethsemane, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Temple Institute, Hezekiah’s tunnel, Pool of Siloam, etc.

After returning from the Holy Land, I feel that the bible comes alive whenever I read and study it even to this day – after all, isn’t God’s Word “Living and Active” as Hebrews 4:12 declares? Over the past 16 years, I have had the opportunity to preach in three local churches once every 6 to 8 weeks.

TUNG LING SEMINARY

My wife and I also studied at the Tung Ling Seminary, Ipoh. We enrolled for night courses over 3-years as audit students. These courses were conducted by lecturers from Tung Ling Seminary, Kuala Lumpur for 6 weeks once a year.

We attended these classes from 6pm until 10pm. They were conducted in the form of lectures, workshops, assessments, and examinations. My wife and I also travelled locally, regionally, and internationally for medical seminars and conferences as part of continuing medical education (CME) for renewal of my yearly annual practising certificate.

Over the many years of medical practice, I was awarded Fellow of the Academy of Medicine Malaysia, Fellow of the National Heart Association of Malaysia, Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians, Fellow of the Asean College of Cardiology, and Fellow of the Asian Pacific Society of Cardiology.

GOD’S CONSTANT FAITHFULNESS

My wife and I also travel yearly to Auckland and Dunedin in New Zealand, and Melbourne in Australia to visit my sons, daughters-in-laws, grandsons and granddaughters.

Thank God, by 2020 we have three daughters-in-law, five grandsons and four granddaughters. By the grace of God, my family grew from just two persons in 1977 to fourteen in 2020!

I can testify beyond any shadow of doubt that my God is a good God. He has faithfully looked after me and my family through the years, taking me through the best of times and the worst of times.

BOBBY

A dog is indeed a man’s best friend and I had a dog in Ipoh too. He was an Alsatian-Mongrel mixed breed. I also called him Bobby, the same name as my other dog in Tanjong Malim. I got him when he was only a puppy.

One day, a cobra entered into the compound of my house. Bobby was very brave. He saved the day. He barked and guarded the compound and prevented the cobra from entering into our house. I quickly called the “Bomba” (Fire-Rescue Squad) for assistance. They sent a team over to my house and safely removed the cobra. I was forever grateful to Bobby for this act of selfless courage. After about 9 years, Bobby became very old and frail.

One day, when it was raining heavily, I opened the gate, and Bobby rushed out of the house. I could not get him back into the house because of the heavy rain. I thought he would come back later but he did not.

Every day, my wife and I would comb the neighbourhood with our car to look for Bobby, but he was nowhere to be found.

Three days later, we spotted him lying down in a field looking weak and frail. We took him into our car, brought him home and looked after him. However, Bobby passed away peacefully after several days. I buried him in the compound of my house. I was very sad, but thank God, I found him and had closure over the incident. Otherwise, I would still be feeling guilty.

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Romans, Lesson 15

Lesson 15

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omans 6: 15-23, Sanctification, Part 2.

Paul continued to ask rhetorical questions and answered them.

V 15, What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace?

Certainly not! Grace is not a license to sin but a freedom to serve Christ.

2 Tim 2: 1, ”be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus”.

V 16, Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves, slaves, to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness?

Greek for slave is “doulos”. We were once slaves to satan who operates by law and sin leading to bondage and death. Now that Christ had purchased our freedom, we are slaves to Him, who operates by grace, leading to obedience, righteousness, and life.

VV 17-18, 17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

We were once slaves to satan. Now that Jesus Christ had redeemed our freedom, we turn from satan and turned to Jesus as slaves of righteousness.

VV 19-20, 19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness. 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.

When we were slaves to satan, we presented our bodies to satan for acts uncleanness and lawlessness. Now that we are slaves to Jesus, we are to present our bodies to Jesus for acts of holiness and righteousness.

1 Thess 4:3, ”It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality”

VV 21-22, 21 What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.

There are two kinds of fruits. The fruit of disobedience when we were slaves of satan. The fruit of righteousness or fruit of the Spirit when we are in Christ. The un-regenerated person has the fruit of disobedience leads shame and eternal death. The born again believer has the fruit of the Spirit leads to holiness and eternal life.

V 23, For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Greek for wages is ”misthos” which means payment for work done. The payment for sin is death, but the grace from God is eternal life in Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of grace, salvation, justification, sanctification, righteousness, holiness, and eternal life. Thank You for redeeming us and setting us free from sin and death into righteousness and eternal life, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Romans, Lesson 15

Lesson 15

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omans 6: 15-23, Sanctification, Part 2.

Paul continued to ask rhetorical questions and answered them.

V 15, What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace?

Certainly not! Grace is not a license to sin but a freedom to serve Christ.

2 Tim 2: 1, ”be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus”.

V 16, Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves, slaves, to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness?

Greek for slave is “doulos”. We were once slaves to satan who operates by law and sin leading to bondage and death. Now that Christ had purchased our freedom, we are slaves to Him, who operates by grace, leading to obedience, righteousness, and life.

VV 17-18, 17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

We were once slaves to satan. Now that Jesus Christ had redeemed our freedom, we turn from satan and turned to Jesus as slaves of righteousness.

VV 19-20, 19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness. 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.

When we were slaves to satan, we presented our bodies to satan for acts uncleanness and lawlessness. Now that we are slaves to Jesus, we are to present our bodies to Jesus for acts of holiness and righteousness.

1 Thess 4:3, ”It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality”

VV 21-22, 21 What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.

There are two kinds of fruits. The fruit of disobedience when we were slaves of satan. The fruit of righteousness or fruit of the Spirit when we are in Christ. The un-regenerated person has the fruit of disobedience leads shame and eternal death. The born again believer has the fruit of the Spirit leads to holiness and eternal life.

V 23, For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Greek for wages is ”misthos” which means payment for work done. The payment for sin is death, but the grace from God is eternal life in Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of grace, salvation, justification, sanctification, righteousness, holiness, and eternal life. Thank You for redeeming us and setting us free from sin and death into righteousness and eternal life, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Romans, Lesson 14

Lesson 14

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omans 6: 8-14, Sanctification, Part 1.

After justification, we encounter the war of the flesh. The war between the flesh and the Spirit, between sin and righteousness, between law and grace, between eternal death and eternal life. Sanctification is the process of growing in righteousness to win the war of the flesh.

VV 8-10, 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.

Having died with Christ, we shall live with Him. Death had no power over Christ and death will have no power over us. Since Christ died to God and lives for God, we are to die to Christ and lives for Christ.

V 11, Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Greek for reckon is ”logizomai” which mean to understand. We are to understand that we are dead to sin but alive to God in Christ, our Lord and master.

V 12, Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.

We are not to allow sin to be king over our mortal body. We are to enthrone Jesus Christ as our King and dethrone sin from being king over us.

James 4:7 b, ”Resist the devil and he will flee from you”.

VV 13-14, 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

We are to not present our bodies as instruments of sin to be used by satan but to present our bodies as instruments of righteousness to be used by God. Sin shall have no power over us because we are under grace, not law.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us practical steps to overcome sin. Sanctify us with the truth of Your word and the power of the Holy Spirit. Help us to present our bodies to You as living sacrifices as this is our spiritual act of worship, Thank You that we are under grace and not law, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Romans, lesson 13

Dead Sea Scrolls

Lesson 13

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oman 6: 1-7, War of the flesh.

In this section, Paul spoke about the spiritual struggle of a Christian in facing the war between the flesh and the Holy Spirit.

VV 1-3, 1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death

Shall we continue to sin that grace may abound?

Certainly not! Grace is not a license to sin, but a freedom to serve Christ. When we were baptised into Christ, we have died to sin and will no longer be a slave to sin.

Galatians 5:17, ”For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other”.

Romans 6:12, ”Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts”.

VV 4-5, 4, therefore, we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so, we also should walk in newness of life.5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,

At baptism, our old flesh life was buried and our new spiritual life emerged out from the water with Christ. At baptism, we identified with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Therefore, we are to walk in the new life of Holy Spirit.

2 Cor 5: 17, ”Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new”

1 John 3:9, ”Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God”

VV 6-7, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin.

Greek for done away is ”katargeo”, which means to render powerless. Through Jesus Christ, sin had been rendered powerless. We are no longer slaves to sin, but a slaves to Jesus Christ and we are to serve Him in freedom.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we claim the promise that it is by grace that we have been saved through faith. Sanctify us by the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead, in Jesus’ name, Amen.