Saturday, August 04, 2018

Meet the Doctor From Asia’s Most Infamous Sex Scandal

Dr Hayden Kho

A simple social media post containing a Bible verse triggered quite an avalanche of criticism, and with it, a reminder of God’s gracious gift of forgiveness for those who call on him.

The verse was 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

The person who posted the verse was Dr. Hayden Kho - and that explains some of the critical responses.

Meggie Sy’s response on Instagram represented most of the criticism: “This coming from you is a joke.”

To understand the critique you have to know something about Dr. Hayden Kho, a celebrity in the Philippines but not very well known in the West.

Kho went to Christian schools but was a self-avowed atheist. He is a plastic surgeon to the stars who worked in the Philippines’ largest cosmetic surgery business. He became famous as a television actor, earning the moniker “Doctor Hunk” for his stunning good looks.

But in 2008, his idyllic life disintegrated. He was embroiled in a series of sex videos of himself with other local and foreign celebrities. The videos showed up on the Internet without his knowledge and consent.

He was tried publicly on national television as part of a senate hearing. He was also taken to court in both criminal and civil cases. His case was dubbed the most controversial sex scandal in Asia.

The Professional Regulation Commission deemed Kho “immoral” and unfit to practice medicine and stripped him of his license to practice in 2012. The fall was great and Kho turned to drugs and alcohol to ease the pain…and finally to attempt suicide, twice.

“When the (sex) scandal happened, it was like being caught in a flood,” said Kho. “Every problem that came my way before was like a downpour. Since I’ve been underwater for so long, what was another downpour? But when they took away my license…it was a totally different experience.”

In the scandal’s aftermath, Kho said, “I lost my name and my so-called friends.” No one came to his defense.


Instead, he went in search of answers. The journey took him to a private talk by Ravi Zacharias in Manila. Kho’s friend Dioceldo Sy, owner of Ever Bilena cosmetics, had an extra ticket to Zacharias’ talk that night.

Having read Zacharias’ book Has Christianity Failed You? as part of his research before choosing to become an atheist years ago, Kho also knew the author’s background as an engaging writer and leading Christian apologist.

Soon after Zacharias’ talk about the truth behind the Gospels, Kho’s hand was the first to be raised with a question.

“I asked a question that soon turned into a confession,” Kho said. As Zacharias recalled, Kho said that he was “living with pain, shame and guilt.”

“Tears were running down his face,” said Zacharias. “He began by asking me what meaning can he find in life. That was where the dialogue between us began.”

Zacharias had no idea who Kho was and didn’t know his story. He told his staff later that Kho looked like a man made for the movies and yet he was talking about life’s meaninglessness.

Zacharias is fond of quoting a line from theologian G.K. Chesterton; “Meaninglessness doesn’t come from being weary of pain. Rather, it comes from being weary of pleasure.” Kho personified that insight.

Friday, August 03, 2018


Too often we think some special people are simply grateful and upbeat. But here’s the good news: All of us can become grateful. Every morning we can say, “Thank you, God, for a new day.” That’s a beginning.

Thanking God for the things we take for granted enables us to develop an attitude of gratitude. Who am I to deserve to have a car? Own a home? Millions of people in war-ravaged countries or drought-stricken areas would feel as if life had given them a tremendous blessing if they had only enough to eat each day. That attitude begins with the simple acknowledgment of what we have - even if friends have more.

I thought of the apostle Paul in prison - which was far worse than modern-day places of incarceration. “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want” (Philippians 4:11 - 12).

The more we cultivate that positive attitude, the more we realize that we’re not entitled to anything. Everything we enjoy is a gift.

I‘ve learned to start each morning by thanking God for the special people in my life - family members and friends, as well as social and business relationships. From there, I give thanks for the people in my past - anyone who nudged me or guided me to becoming a stronger, wiser, and healthier person. The list goes on and continues to grow. And the more it grows, the happier I am.


Tuesday, March 06, 2018

The Right Age

“I’m too old for that,” my 53-year-old friend said.

I regularly hear such comments from those who have hit the big zero years (50, 60, 70). Once-attractive women complain, “When women reach a certain age, men ignore them.” When I hear that, I think, so what? Do you need approving stares to be happy?

I’m tired of hearing friends cringe at the mention of aging. I have no desire to be 30 or 60 again and am grateful for the years behind me.

Just because we reach “a certain age” doesn’t mean we stop living or enjoying life. Instead, we have an opportunity to add to our lives, to explore new ideas, and take pleasurable risks.

This year I turned 85, and I’m delighted to admit it. Here are a few things I say about my age:
"I've earned every wrinkle and creak in my body."
"This is the cost of living longer."
"I'm happy being who I am right now."
"This is exactly the right age for me."

Getting older isn’t only a downhill slide; we can always find positives. No matter how dismal life seems, we can choose to stay positive.

For example, my faith has grown stronger and my attachment to others is deeper. I’m free to say no. The older I get, the more I know the relationships I want to maintain and those I want to let go.

Regardless of the number of my years, I’m exactly the right age to increase my joy and appreciate all the goodness of life. I relish the freedom and the joy of life instead of thinking how terrible it is to get old. I regularly say to myself, “This is the life I’ve been preparing to live. Now I’ll enjoy it.”

What about you and your age? Can you say these words below?

by Cecil Murphey – Writer, Teacher, Speaker, Abuse Survivor

Saturday, December 09, 2017

The Very Last Tract

Every Sunday afternoon, after the morning service at the church, the Pastor and his eleven year old son would go out into their town and hand out gospel tracts.

This particular Sunday afternoon, as it came time for the Pastor and his son to go to the streets with their tracts, it was very cold outside, as well as pouring rain.

The boy bundled up in his warmest and driest clothes and said, 'OK, dad, I'm ready.' His Pastor dad asked, 'Ready for what?'

'Dad, it's time we gather our tracts together and go out.'

Dad responds, 'Son, it's very cold outside and it's pouring rain.'

The boy gives his dad a surprised look, asking, 'But Dad, aren't people still going to hell, even though it's raining?'

Dad answers, 'Son, I am not going out in this weather.'

Despondently, the boy asks, 'Dad, can I go? Please?'

His father hesitated for a moment then said, 'Son, you can go. Here are the tracts, be careful son..'

'Thanks Dad!'

And with that, he was off and out into the rain. This eleven year old boy walked the streets of the town going door to door and handing everybody he met in the street a gospel tract.

After two hours of walking in the rain, he was soaking, bone-chilled wet and down to his very last tract. He stopped on a corner and looked for someone to hand a tract to, but the streets were totally deserted. Then he turned toward the first home he saw and started up the sidewalk to the front door and rang the door bell. He rang the bell, but nobody answered.

He rang it again and again, but still no one answered. He waited but still no answer. Finally, this eleven year old trooper turned to leave, but something stopped him.

Again, he turned to the door and rang the bell and knocked loudly on the door with his fist. He waited, something holding him there on the front porch!

He rang again and this time the door slowly opened.

Standing in the doorway was a very sad-looking elderly lady. She softly asked, 'What can I do for you, son?' With radiant eyes and a smile that lit up her world, this little boy said, 'Ma'am, I'm sorry if I disturbed you, but I just want to tell you that “Jesus does love you” and I came to give you my very last gospel tract which will tell you all about Jesus and His great love.'

With that, he handed her his last tract and turned to leave. She called to him as he departed, 'Thank you, son! And God bless you!'

Well, the following Sunday morning in church Pastor Dad was in the pulpit. As the service began, he asked, 'Does anybody have testimony or want to say anything?'

Slowly, in the back row of the church, an elderly lady stood to her feet.

As she began to speak, a look of glorious radiance came from her face, 'No one in this church knows me. I've never been here before. You see, before last Sunday I was not a Christian. My husband passed on some time ago, leaving me totally alone in this world. Last Sunday, being a particularly cold and rainy day, it was even more so in my heart that I came to the end of the line where I no longer had any hope or will to live.’

‘So I took a rope and a chair and ascended the stairway into the attic of my home. I fastened the rope securely to a rafter in the roof, then stood on the chair and fastened the other end of the rope around my neck. Standing on that chair, so lonely and broken-hearted I was about to leap off, when suddenly the loud ringing of my doorbell downstairs startled me. I thought, 'I'll wait a minute, and whoever it is will go away.'

‘I waited and waited, but the ringing doorbell seemed to get louder and more insistent, and then the person ringing also started knocking loudly.’

‘I thought to myself again, 'Who on earth could this be? Nobody ever rings my bell or comes to see me. I loosened the rope from my neck and started for the front door, all the while the bell rang louder and louder.’

‘When I opened the door and looked I could hardly believe my eyes, for there on my front porch was the most radiant and angelic little boy I had ever seen in my life. His smile, oh, I could never describe it to you!’

‘The words that came from his mouth caused my heart that had long been dead, to leap to life as he exclaimed with a cherub-like voice, 'Ma'am, I just came to tell you that Jesus really does love you.'

‘Then he gave me this gospel tract that I now hold in my hand.’

‘As the little angel disappeared back out into the cold and rain, I closed my door and read slowly every word of this gospel tract. Then I went up to my attic to get my rope and chair. I wouldn't be needing them anymore.’

‘You see - I am now a happy child of the King. Since the address of your church was on the back of this gospel tract, I have come here to personally say “Thank You” to God's little angel who came just in the nick of time and by so doing, spared my soul from an eternity in hell.'

There was not a dry eye in the church. And as shouts of praise and honor to the King resounded off the very rafters of the building, Pastor Dad descended from the pulpit to the front pew where the little angel was seated. He took his son in his arms and sobbed uncontrollably.

Probably no church has had a more glorious moment, and probably this universe has never seen a Papa that was more filled with love  and honor for his son than Pastor Dad.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

The Inner Critic

All of us have an accusing voice - a nagging, troublesome conscience or tormenting memories. As one friend said, “We know the voice and it’s with us every day. That inner censor makes its presence known repeatedly - especially when we’re in a low spot.”

Too often we listen and sink even lower, thereby endowing that detractor with the power to steal our joy and rob us of peace. Our self-faultfinder thrives in our tender places - those vulnerable spots and uncertainties. It’s where we store our shame and embarrassments.

In recent years, I’ve learned to rise above that condemnation.

First, I talk to the judgmental voice. Instead of fighting it, I say, “Yes, I failed to...” or “I’m still embarrassed over...”

Second, I remind myself that God forgives me, no matter what I’ve done (or didn’t do). I say, “God has forgiven me, so you don’t have to keep tormenting me.” Then I add, “Besides that, I forgive Cec.”

Third, I say to my inner critic, “Thank you for reminding me and, with God’s help, I won’t fail in that area again.”

Recently, I spoke harshly to a friend and immediately apologized. That sneaky voice whispered, “You failed at this before. Remember?”

I laughed and said, “I distinctly remember forgetting. Besides, Psalm 103:12 reads, ‘As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.’ That means it’s gone and you can’t bring it up again.”

I honestly do it that way. Maybe it won’t work for you, but it might be worth trying.

Written by Cecil Murphey - Writer | Speaker | Teacher | Survivor