“You’re Part Of The Solution!” (Psalms 51:17)

I couldn’t stop playing with it. A quick flick of my wrist and the watch face lit up. The facade showed me the time, date, next calendar event, the weather, even the number of steps I had taken that day. Oh yes! It was my first smartwatch and I was loving it.


One of the touted new features was the ability to call upon a digital assistant, embedded into the watch, by speaking its name. It was so Dick Tracy! I called the assistant, expecting her pleasant voice to respond, but nothing. I tried again and again, but she continued to ignore me. Perhaps she didn’t hear me? I held the watch closer, still no reply. Since it was only the first day of ownership, I decided to restart the watch and reload the software operating system. A few minutes later, I experienced the same result.  It was time for tech support, I groaned.


Reluctantly, I called the support line. After a few minutes with the support personnel, it was clear that my problem was more complex than I initially thought. We both agreed that she would consult with the senior engineers and promised to contact me the next day. When she promptly called me the next day, I was surprised by her answer.


“I spoke to the senior engineers. It seems you are not the only person experiencing this. Would you be willing to help us collect some data about your watch?”


“What would I have to do?” I was hopeful this could be done in a few minutes.


“We will have to do another session and have you download some diagnostic software. This will allow our engineers to precisely determine where the problem is occurring. I’m afraid it will take about 45 minutes.”


“No, that’s fine. I was about to return the watch and exchange if for a new one but now I realize that it may not solve the problem.” I sighed and said, “Sure, let’s do this. Thank you.”


“No, thank YOU.” she gushed. “You’re part of the solution!”


The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Psalms 51:17 (ESV)

Broken, damaged, or malfunctioning devices are all used to improve a product and perfect it. It sounds a bit like how God works in my life and other believers. We are all broken by sin. If we were to remain in this forlorn state, we would wallow in self-pity, helpless to lift ourselves or others out from the morass. Unlike my watch, God knows what the problem is and has provided the solution. God took the initiative and sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to live a perfect sinless life on this earth, nearly two thousand years ago. Jesus died on the Cross and was resurrected three days later, conquering death. All who confess and repent of their sins and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior can also enter into salvation and have eternal life.


God is not a part of my solution, He is my complete solution to life. God desires everyone to accept His solution for your life by confessing and repenting of your sins and accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.


Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.


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Starting With Nothing (Revelation 2:10)

The early Christians were tortured, excluded from Jewish temple activities, reviled by the Romans and martyred. Even running a business was difficult as they were ostracized by nearly everyone in the Roman empire, afraid to do business with people branded as enemies of the emperor. They were starting with nothing. They could only rely upon fellow Christians. There was nowhere to go but up.


Contrast this with my life, living in the United States. I am blessed with a job, family, and friends. For years I did not have to worry about whether I would be discriminated against because of my religion, race, or even gender. Yet, ominous storm clouds are brewing. The liberties that Christians and other religious groups have enjoyed for so many years are under attack by atheists and liberal activist groups. They are bent upon establishing a politically correct environment in this county, free of any religious overtones or moral obligations. Everyone and every behavior are acceptable and if anyone raises an objection, they are immediately branded as narrow and bigoted. These views completely ignore the fact that their very viewpoints epitomize the same narrow prejudices they claim they are battling and defeating. Sadly, for Christians, there may be nowhere to go but down.


Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.

Revelation 2:10 (ESV)


When the Apostle John wrote to the early Christians who were suffering persecution, he wanted to encourage and remind them that in this life, their souls, were more than this earthly existence. The trials and tribulations they were facing were preparing them, strengthening their faith, for an eternity with God. A crown of life awaited them, filled with unimaginable blessings. No doubt, John must have remembered the words of His Master, Jesus Christ, who gave this sober warning to all of His disciples:


“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”

Matthew 24:9-13 (ESV)


Throughout the world, all Christians are being assaulted for their faith. The early Christian believers started with nothing. It should be a sobering reminder that in these dark days, we must cling to our faith in Jesus Christ and not the security and safety of our education, jobs, and relationships. We, too, must start with nothing. Our reward is in Heaven and our hope is only in Jesus Christ.




Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.


Costume Downloading (Philippians 2:12-13)

It was another Halloween and another costume decision to make. Unlike previous years, no theme or costume idea readily came to mind. A hard deadline was quickly approaching as my wife and I were to attend a Halloween party in less than a week. Shuffling through several internet sites, I quickly dismissed cheesy television and movie characters. I needed something that half of the party attendees would not also be wearing. After another 30 minutes of searching, I alighted upon a solution. It was quirky and practical; it was tee-shirt with the words, “Costume Downloading”. Seizing upon the opportunity, I found an old hat and cut out half of the brim and top. I then put on shoes of two different styles and colors and a vest. Finally, I wore an empty gun holster. I knew what the finished product should be but for now, I was a cowboy in the making. Indeed, my costume was downloading!


Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, or it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Philippians 2:12-13 (ESV)


Jesus Christ has saved me. My salvation is eternal and secure from the moment I confessed and repented of my sins and accepted Him as my Lord and Savior. Salvation is eternal but it is also dynamic. While I am saved, I am not yet perfected. This perfecting is sanctification; it is a continual process. God, through His Holy Spirit, continues to transform me into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. My role is to actively seek a deeper and closer relationship with Him through prayer, reading the Bible, and living a life obedient to do His will.


Someday in Heaven, I will be the perfected person that God created me and every believer to be. I know what my final and eternal appearance will be but until then, my spiritual identity is still downloading.


Thank you, God, for your continual grace and mercy in my life.


Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.



Squeaky (Isaiah 50:4)

“Dear God. Please take care of Squeaky. Amen.”


After my father uttered this solemn prayer, we covered the shoe box with dirt and buried my pet guinea pig. I was about seven years old and my father thought it would be a good idea for me to learn a new responsibility by owning and caring for a pet. My father even enlisted the assistance of our neighbor, who constructed a beautiful cage for Squeaky where she was kept in our backyard. At night, I was instructed to place a tarpaulin over the cage to keep her warm and protected from the elements. I enjoyed caring for Squeaky and was fond of showing her off to my friends but after a month, tragedy struck. One evening, I forgot to cover her cage. The next morning, when I went to feed her, I was horrified to find her lifeless body. My negligence had killed her. Fearfully, I confessed to my father what I had done. Expecting a stern lecture and punishment, I was relieved to find a sympathetic ear.


“We have to a funeral for her.”


I was taken aback by my father’s suggestion. I had never attended a real funeral up to that point in my young life. Now, I was going to conduct one for my pet, a pet that I killed. As the day approached, I tried to keep my mind occupied, downplaying the event. It was not a big deal, just a funeral for a guinea pig, I told myself. Yet, I was nervous and frightened. During the funeral, I turned my face away from my father so he could not see the tears in my eyes.


As I reflect upon this event that occurred nearly fifty years ago, I am struck by things that escaped my attention these many years.  Up to that point in my life, my father never talked about God nor did he ever hint that he was religious. Why did my father suggest we pray to God? Was he attempting to instill a life lesson by using this teachable moment of my pet’s death? Sadly, I will never learn the answer, at least not in this lifetime. My father and I never spoke of the event again. My father passed away a few years ago, leaving me with uncertainty whether he truly knew God or whether he was invoking God’s name at the funeral because of tradition or politeness.


The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught.

Isaiah 50:4 (ESV)

Memories convey powerful life lessons. This sad memory of my first pet contained much deeper life lessons than I ever realized. I have many regrets in my life but one of my greatest is that I did not spend more time speaking to my father about Jesus Christ. After I became a Christian, I would share the Gospel with him, but we often found ourselves butting heads. He was reluctant to share what he truly believed about God. Life can wear us down. The incessant demands of our family and his job may have been overwhelming at times. After a long day, perhaps the last thing anyone, including my father, would want to do is to debate the merits of God. I wish I could have found more common points of discussion like Squeaky’s funeral, instead of focusing on points of differences. I should have been more sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s guiding to extend God’s grace and mercy to my weary father, rather than trying to win an argument.


I pray that someday in Heaven, I will see my father. Together with Squeaky, we could share the many life lessons that he would have liked to impart unto me but was unable. I also continue to pray for opportunities to share the Good News about Jesus Christ for all who do not yet know Him. I have been blessed with many wonderful teachers in Jesus Christ. I pray that God will continue to give me every opportunity to sustain and uplift those who are weary.


Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.



Does It Work In Real Life? (John 16:8)

I trained off on and in martial arts for over 10 years. I began in judo during elementary school and in college. I later trained in Kempo karate for about 3 years. I enjoyed every discipline and convinced myself that I was being adequately prepared to defend myself if I was faced with the unfortunate circumstances of defending myself. Thankfully, such a scenario never emerged. Yet, I was always left with the gnawing doubt because I was never truly tested. Would my preparation prepare me adequately, does it work in real life?


When I became a Christian, I was inspired by the Bible’s amazing stories of miraculous conversions. There were hundreds and, sometimes, thousands of people who confessed and repented of their sins and accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. I earnestly read and studied the techniques that the great Apostles Paul and Peter used to preach the Gospel. I naively thought the Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ would be obvious to everyone I spoke and that all would love Jesus as much as I did. God painfully revealed my ignorance. My friends raised questions that I didn’t know how to answer. I didn’t have the experience or the knowledge to understand and explain complex theological ideas, or to address their queries. I had not even read the entire Bible! What was missing? Why wasn’t this working in real life?


And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment…

John 16:8 (ESV)


God showed me that it was only by the power of His Holy Spirit that brings anyone to the point to confess and repent of their sins and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. I was still relying upon my head knowledge and skills instead of asking the Holy Spirit to lead me and guide me to those who were genuinely seeking God. Do the approaches, the preaching, and the techniques that the great saints of the Bible utilized, still work today? Would these techniques work in real life?




They work only when we completely rely upon the Holy Spirit to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ through us. It is God, the Holy Spirit, that convicts the world of sin, and only He can bring anyone to the point to confess and repent of their sins and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.


Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.


Mirror, Mirror (James 1:22-25)

Her raven-black hair glistened and danced in the moonlight as she slowly worked her tortoiseshell brush through it. A smile emerged on her visage, pleased at the outcome that was reflected in the mirror. As she lost herself in the moment, out of the corner of her eye, an unfamiliar, vaguely unpleasant site emerged. For a moment, she hesitated, her mind sifting through possible explanations. Was it an odd interplay of shadows? A reflection of photographs in the room? No. It was no reflection or hallucination. It was a human face, a woman. In a second, she recognized her dead mother, taken from her over twenty years earlier by a suicide. A scream simultaneously burst forth from her and the image in the mirror!


I was watching a horror movie and was equally startled when that eerie face appeared in the mirror as the main character was looking at her reflection. Mission accomplished! The director achieved the effect he was desiring.


Mirror, mirror! How often do we see this macabre scenario depicted in horror films? What is it about mirrors that so readily lends itself to the mysterious and unpredictable? We are accustomed to seeing our familiar reflection, yet, we view with trepidation, the possibility that our reflection may reveal something sinister, something hidden or buried, within us.


But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

James 1:22-25 (ESV)


For years, I lived with this fear that my past would catch up with me. When I looked in the mirror, I saw the hideous reflection of a life distorted and fractured by sin. I was living only for myself, oblivious to the needs of others. I was wholly focused upon achieving my goals, no matter the cost or how many people I had to step over to accomplish the ends.


It was only when I confessed and repented of my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, was I able to begin to see myself how God sees me. I am a sinner but redeemed and sanctified by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. His sacrifice cleansed me and showed me a better way, a life that is focused upon serving Him and others rather than exalting myself and my selfish interests.


Mirror, mirror.


Thanks be to God that He intervened in my life and rescued me. He showed me a reflection of myself what I could truly be, instead of the helpless decaying vessel I had become.


All praise to the Living God!


Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.


It Did Not Matter What I Did! (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

​Sharp, piercing pain ripped through my back. Did I sleep in an odd position? Did I overdo with my exercises yesterday? Whatever the reason, the pain was increasing and was not relieved by any change in posture. In fact, any movement made it worse. Out of desperation, I contacted the office of a colleague, an orthopedic surgeon, who was able to see me that afternoon.  A few hours later, I was given the diagnosis of a strained sacroiliac joint. The good news was it was not a slipped disc or stress fracture. The bad news was there was no movement that did not trigger the pain. It did not matter what I did!


Many people I know are afflicted with chronic physical pain. While some pain may be partially relieved by medications and/or surgery, for others, there is no relief, no matter what they do. It is a continual reminder that our outer self is wasting away. If we chose to focus only on our physical and temporary bodies, we will only be discouraged, perhaps even to the point of desperation. We may seek out sham or alternative treatments or enlist health care providers of dubious reputation, promising miraculous cures. We do this because we want to continue living the way we once did. We know there is a better way to live.



So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (ESV)


There is a better way to live, one that is free of our decaying physical bodies. Our temporary physical ailments and pain should point us to an eternal and unchanging God. Our perspective needs to change from focusing upon immediate circumstances to an eternal glory. God works through our pains and sorrows to direct us to Him. We may not always understand why He does this but His ways are not our ways. God, who created all of us, wants to change our outlook to an eternal glory through a relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ.


Do not lose heart. Place your trust and faith in Jesus Christ.




Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.


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Theranos (Proverbs 11:1)

She dropped out of Stanford at the age of 19 years to found her own company. Within 11 years, she was one of Fortune 500’s darlings, gracing the June 2014 cover. She was once worth $5 billion dollars and lauded as one of the richest women in the world. Investors as varied and famous as Oracle founder Larry Ellison, the Walton family of Walmart, and Mexican billionaire, Carlos Slim, eagerly invested in her company. She was honored by ex-presidents and industry titans.


She is Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of the Palo Alto company, Theranos. The company touted a disruptive and innovative new medical technology. Instead of the usual painful venipuncture needed to obtain a tube of blood for laboratory testing, only a drop of blood was needed. Theranos developed a proprietary blood chemistry analyzer to render an accurate diagnosis using a fraction of the usual amount of blood. In spite of the fact, there were no published papers that could verify the invention, numerous investors were willing to back her company. Walgreens, the drug store chain, inked a deal to offer its product in over 40 of its locations.


The cracks began to appear in October 2015 after a scathing article in the Wall Street Journal, questioned the claims and accuracy of its blood testing technology. This article was published at the same time other laboratory insiders were raising the same skepticism. Pathologists, the medical specialists in charge of directing laboratory medicine, were at the forefront of the charge. As the calls for government scrutiny increased, Theranos’ laboratory license was suspended after an inspection yielded numerous quality control issues. With the credibility of Theranos at stake, in February 2016, Holmes agreed to have the Cleveland Clinic perform a validation study of their invention. The results unequivocally stated the technology could not be trusted. The emperor truly had no clothes. Numerous lawsuits followed with finger pointing in all directions. Her collapse was as stupendous as her meteoric rise. She was eventually fined $500,000 and barred from serving as an officer or director of a public company for 10 years. She is also facing additional criminal charges in federal court. One whistle blower stated, “I have no idea what was going on in her head. She is definitely not taking responsibility. Does she realize she is lying? I don’t know….A lot of people knew this. It was an inside joke.”


A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his delight.

Proverbs 11:1 (ESV)


This proverb and its principal are repeated at least 10 other times in the Bible. (Leviticus 19:35-36, Deuteronomy 25:13-16, Ezekiel 45:9-10, Amos 8:4-6, Hosea 12:7-8, Micah 6:10-14, Proverbs 16:11, Proverbs 20:10, Proverbs 20:23, and Proverbs 22:28).


If God, the Holy Spirit, repeatedly instructed His prophets to record this verse, we should definitely pay attention. While the verse may be taken at face value, the deeper message is honesty in business. The lessons of Theranos will be debated in business schools for years, but the deeper message is the same. God demands the same high ethical standards from us in life and in business. Theranos destroyed many lives and caused anguish for thousands of patients who received erroneous laboratory results. The deepest message is our sinful nature.


God needs to continually remind us that we will continue to fail and live with deceptive moral principles until we all acknowledge that our sins have separated us from a loving God who created all of us. What can we do?  We need to confess and repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Only then, will the destructive cycle of sin begin to be reversed and we will be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ.


Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.


Not The Complete Story (Psalms 19:7)

The soft green glow that emerged from the crack below the door of my daughter’s room filled me with sadness. I softly knocked on her door, unsure whether my daughter was awake or simply fell asleep last night and did not turn off the light. Gently opening the door, I peered in to see her on her bed, studying.


“You okay, sweetheart?”


“Yes, Dad. I have an early test.”


“Okay, let me know if you need me to do anything for you.”


I sighed softly as I closed her door. As I left for work that morning, I prayed that God would strengthen my daughter and give her peace for this early morning examination. I reminisced over the many times I did the same thing she was doing. These are the painful moments of school and life, the memories that are hopefully forgotten. I would rather she, and I, focus upon the happier times of friendships and helpful teachers, but it is not the complete story.  


When I was in college, I missed the last religion class, before the final examination, because of an illness. On the evening before the finals, I ran into a classmate who asked me if I would be attending the evening review session. My blank look instantly revealed to her that I was in dire need of assistance. During the last class I missed, the professor gave out the final examination questions and we were expected to have reviewed them and be ready to write out our prepared answers on the day of the final examination. That evening, I participated in our study group and spent the rest of the entire night and most of the next morning, writing out my answers. I did well on the final examination and the class, and I have fond memories of what I learned, but it was not the complete story. I was in a panic mode at 3AM, frantically preparing my answers while I was battling fatigue. I could have easily failed that course.


The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple…

Psalms 19:7 (ESV)


The Bible is God’s revelation of the Good News, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for all humanity. It is complete and inerrant. Everything we need to know to lead everyone to confess and repent of their sins and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior are recorded here. Yet, there are still details that are omitted. We do not have all the details of the childhood and early adulthood of Jesus, but we know from Biblical references that he was a carpenter like his earthly father, Joseph. We do not have the gruesome details of the Crucifixion of Jesus, although we know from historical records it was, and still is, one of the most painful means of execution ever devised by man.


On many issues, the Bible is silent. Yet, although we do not have the complete story, we have all the details we need to make a decision to surrender our lives to Jesus Christ. Someday, my daughter may look back over her life and remember the tough times. Hopefully, through the filter of time, she will only remember the fond memories-the friendships, the laughter, the life lessons that are forming an indelible part of her character. Yet upon deeper reflection, she may recall the painful episodes of waking up early to study for yet another examination. Like my religion class in college, I am hopeful my daughter will remember the best and forget the rest. It may not be the complete story, but sometimes the important things in life, like the Gospel, need to be distilled to what truly matters.


Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.


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“You Light Up My Life” (Psalms 150:6)

It was the fall of 1977 and wherever anyone traveled, the strains of a solo woman singer were heard. It was Debbie Boone singing the most popular song in the country, “You Light Up My Life.” Her lovely voice singing a poignant love song; it was an immediate sensation. Although many thought Ms. Boone was singing to her lover, she adamantly insisted that she was singing to God. This revelation endeared the song even more to her fans, including those who could not hear. On one memorable occasion, a school of deaf children presented a special concert to Ms. Boone. As she sang the song, the children signed the words to her. At the end of the performance, they signed the message, “You light up my life” to her.


Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

Psalms 150:6 (ESV)


This beautiful example of deaf children “singing” a song of godly praise reminds me of God’s promises when He returns to establish His Kingdom. When we read certain verses in the Bible, it may be startling to hear that inanimate objects like hills, mountains, and the sun and moon are commanded to praise God. Hyperbole? Perhaps. But as our Lord Jesus Christ told His disciples, is anything too difficult for God? We are accustomed and conditioned to think that the only way we can praise God is through our voice or physical actions but God is not limited by flesh and blood. He created everything and it should come as no surprise that God has created the means for His entire Creation to praise Him, in a manner, we may not understand or conceive. Someday, in Heaven, all believers in Jesus Christ will understand the depth and breadth of what it means to praise God, and it will be more glorious than we can ever imagine!


You light up my life!

Indeed, God, your love enlightens your entire creation!


Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.