Six More Years (1 John 4:19)

“We couldn’t help falling in love with her… the vet told us at the one month check up that she has a heart murmur. At the 1st year check up, she said it was serious, and with medication she may be able to live until 10 years. Then at the 2nd year check up, she said if we’re lucky 2 years. At the 3rd year check up, she said could die any day, but she lived another 2 1/2 years, so we just have to be thankful for that.”

My dear friends said farewell to their pet cat. They adopted the cat and her sister from the same litter when they were kittens. Shortly thereafter, they learned that she had a serious heart murmur that would progressively worsen. Undaunted, they committed to raising the kitten as part of their family. The quotation above and numerous photos on social media movingly conveyed their effusive love and warmth for their departed loved one. They willingly chose to care for her, allowing her to have nearly six more years of life that she would not have had if she had been left alone.

We love Him because He first loved us. 

1 John 4:19 (NKJV)

God’s love for us is no different. We are all sinners and separated from God, leading to our deaths. By our own efforts, we are helpless to save ourselves. God took the initiative because He first loved us. He sent His own Son to die for our sins. By the power of His resurrection, He conquered death and offers eternal life and salvation to all who confess and repent of their sins and place their trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. 

My friend’s cat lived for nearly six years because she was adopted and cared for by a loving family. We are offered eternal life because God first loved us and adopted us to become His children. It is my sincerest prayer that everyone will receive God’s love, grace, and mercy by placing their faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. 

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

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P=md2 (James 4:1-3)


It is one of the most recognizable equations. Although many, including myself, could not render a coherent explanation of this, nearly everyone knows it is attributed to Albert Einstein, the great theoretical physicist. It is the crux of his specialized theory of relativity. Amongst the many startling revelations of this theory is the principle that energy (E) and matter (m) are the same and interchangeable. This concept laid the foundation for nuclear energy, converting the mass of the atom into energy.

There is less complex but still profound corollary to this famous equation. It is my adaptation of Einstein’s formula: 


What does it mean? Power (P) and money (m) are interchangeable when extreme desire (d) is present. Over the years, I have met talented individuals who claim they have no interest in money or financial compensation from their respective organizations, yet their actions are solely focused upon securing power. Once they obtained this power, they used it to control the financial workings, lining their own pockets. There are other individuals who already had money when they joined an organization and used it to silence their critics, purchasing the loyalty of key figures to forge their own alliances and seizing power. In both cases, their powerful desires motivated the individual. The Bible exposes this Truth. 

What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure. James 4:1-3 (NLT)

Power and money are interchangeable and both can be used for good and evil. It is our desires, our intentions, that determine which pathway is chosen. 


It may not be as elegant as Einstein’s theory of relativity but it is far more dangerous. Only faith and belief in Jesus Christ can enable us to replace our evil desires with the pure motives of God. 

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

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Gender Reveal Party (1 Peter 3:15-16)

“Okay, on three, we will cut the cake! One…two…three!”

The young couple sliced into the two tiered cake. The pastry chef was in attendance and informed the guests that beneath the frosting, the cake she baked would be colored appropriately: blue if it was a boy and pink if it was a girl. 

I was attending my first gender reveal party. This is a relatively recent phenomenon, beginning within the last twenty years. The expectant parents will host a party in which the gender of their unborn child will be revealed to the guests. The gender was previously confirmed by ultrasound and/or blood tests. 

It was all performed with great revelery. What could be wrong with a joyful revelation of a child’s gender? Enter the woke police who have vehemently launched attacks against these parties, criticizing these parties as a false reinforcement of gender stereotypes. They aver that gender, unlike sex, is not a biological definition but a social construct, determined after birth by the individual. 

I understand their viewpoint but it is ironic that groups clamoring for tolerance are the most intolerant of the opinions and beliefs of others. If the beliefs of others do not align with their own, then the other group is immediately labeled as bigoted, narrow minded and wrong. They, on the other hand, are always correct. Christians have also been accused of intolerance. There have definitely been those who have used the banner of Christinaity to justify intolerance against different groups. In fact, these Christians are behaving in the same manner as the groups that are rallying against them. What is the answer? What is the proper response of Christians to the increasing intolerance with which they are being labeled?

Pastor and Christian author, Tim Keller, keenly observed, “If we get our very identity, our sense of worth, from our political position, then politics is not what it is really about, it is about us. Through our cause we are getting a self, our worth. That means we MUST despise and demonize the opposition. If we get our identity from our ethnicity or socioeconomic status, then we HAVE to feel superior to those of other classes and races. If you are profoundly proud of being an open-minded, tolerant soul, you will be extremely indignant toward people you think are bigots. If you are a very moral person, you will feel superior to people you think are licentious. And so on.”

What does the Bible state?

But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess. Yet do it with courtesy and respect, keeping a good conscience, so that those who slander your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame when they accuse you. 

1 Peter 3:15-16 (NET)

Tolerance is about how we treat others whose beliefs do not align with our own. Simply not agreeing with another’s opinion is not intolerance. When Jesus confronted the woman who committed adultery, he forgave her, the sinner, but condemned the sin.

Jesus stood up straight and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She replied, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you either. Go, and from now on do not sin any more.” 

John 8:10-11 (NET)

As Christians, we are called to be intolerant to sin but tolerant to sinners.  May we continue to seek the path of Truth through faith and belief in Jesus Christ.

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

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Your In-Laws (Proverbs 27:2)

“You’re always criticizing me and my family! I am sick and tired of it! Just once, I would like you to say something nice about me and my family!”

The wife thought for a second, smiled, and said, “The only good thing I can say about you and your family is that your in-laws are better than my in-laws!”

The husband smugly smiled. “Well, at least you admit it! WAIT A MINUTE!”

Many years ago, I read this humorous exchange between a disgruntled husband and wife. 

It reminded me of an experience I had with a vendor for one of my laboratories. There was not a day that passed when my laboratory manager and other supervisors complained about their lack of service and incompetence. Unfortunately we had signed a contract with them that did not terminate for a few more months. If we terminated early, we would pay a hefty fee. There was nothing praiseworthy to state. The only option was to praise the vendor for showing us what NOT to do. 

Let someone else praise you, not your own mouth—a stranger, not your own lips. 

Proverbs 27:2 (NLT)

Letting someone else praise you is excellent advice. However, be wary when your spouse praises your in-laws rather than their own!

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

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No More Sequels (Revelation 21:5-7)

It was ninety minutes of high octane movie magic. I was watching the blockbuster movie sequel “Top Gun-Maverick.” Without being a spoiler, this sequel deftly addressed many loose ends and brought closure to themes that were introduced nearly forty years ago in the original 1986 movie, “Top Gun”. As we were leaving the theater, my wife asked me, “Do you think there will be another sequel?”

Interesting question. I thought about what we just saw and replied, “Well, never say never, but I think this is it. It would be hard to believe they can make another sequel.”

Hollywood loves its sequels and in spite of my statement, there is talk of another sequel, a third “Top Gun.” One of the cast members of the current sequel quipped, “That’s classified.” It was a clever reprise of a line made famous in the first movie. If there is a sequel, it would be interesting to speculate what additional story lines would be added and even if Tom Cruise, the actor who played the main character, Maverick, would return. 

Hollywood will continue to make sequels as long as the movie franchise makes money. Judging by the success of sequels like Toy Story, Halloween, and Star Wars, it is not a difficult decision. What about our lives? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could script numerous sequels for ourselves? We could tie up loose ends and bring closure to dangling issues in our lives. What about our spiritual lives? Is there a sequel that God has prepared for us? The Bible gives us a surprising answer. 

​Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven with the key to the bottomless pit and a heavy chain in his hand. He seized the dragon—that old serpent, who is the devil, Satan—and bound him in chains for a thousand years. The angel threw him into the bottomless pit, which he then shut and locked so Satan could not deceive the nations anymore until the thousand years were finished. Afterward he must be released for a little while. 

Revelation 20:1-3 (NLT)

The binding of Satan occurs after the final battle of Armageddon. I would have thought this would be the end of Satan and his demons. Yet, the Bible adds this last line, “Afterward he must be released for a little while.” God is preparing a sequel of cosmic proportions. 

When the thousand years come to an end, Satan will be let out of his prison. He will go out to deceive the nations—called Gog and Magog—in every corner of the earth. He will gather them together for battle—a mighty army, as numberless as sand along the seashore. And I saw them as they went up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded God’s people and the beloved city. But fire from heaven came down on the attacking armies and consumed them.

Then the devil, who had deceived them, was thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur, joining the beast and the false prophet. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Revelation 20:7-10 (NLT)

One last time, Satan re-emerges to torment the world. God defeats Satan and triumphantly declares, “It is finished!”

And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.

Revelation 21:5-7 (NLT)

To all who confess and repent of their sins and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, a glorious sequel will be written for your life. You will have a better life, one that resolves all loose ends and brings closure to the broken relationships, pain, and suffering of this life. What Jesus Christ accomplished on the Cross and the Resurrection is complete. Death and suffering are destroyed forever. 

This is not Hollywood, this is our life and our eternal destiny is secure. 

No more sequels. It is finished!


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

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Expectations (Luke 17:10)

Our son ascended the stage to meet the high school principal. Resplendent in his suit and cap and gown, our family was celebrating his high school graduation. The last month was a whirlwind of activities: Senior prom, Senior Day at Disneyland, and the distribution of the year books. He participated in all the expected activities of his peers. However, one that he did not participate in was, “I Declare Day.” It is a day when seniors wear a shirt or sweater from the college they will be attending in the fall. 

Our son was not alone. A few of the graduating seniors intended to take a gap year and travel. Others chose to attend a community college with the intention to later transfer to a four-year college or university. When other parents asked us about our son’s plans after graduation, we proudly shared with them that he would be entering a special three-year program that would teach him vocational skills. My wife and I are hopeful that our son will someday attend college, live independently, and be self-sufficient with a job.  

Our son has Down syndrome. As a parent of a child with special needs, our expectations for our son are no different than other parents. Through God’s grace, our son has overcome many obstacles that other typical children do not face. Yet, all children face unique obstacles. Our role as parents is to be sensitive to our children and to accordingly modify our expectations.

What about God, our Heavenly Father? What are His expectations for His children?

In the same way, when you obey me you should say, “We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty.” 

Luke 17:10 (NLT)

Our Heavenly Father has expectations for all believers of His Son, Jesus Christ. He created us to serve Him in gratitude for his grace and mercy to us. However, God’s expectations of us never change. It is our expectations that change as we learn to serve Him. As we grow in faith, we learn to trust God and grow our expectations. We learn the obstacles that we faced were only new avenues to strengthen and grow our faith. 


My wife and I celebrate this milestone that has been achieved by our son. As parents, we desire our children to thrive and become self-sufficient. As believers in Jesus Christ, God desires His children to thrive and become more dependent upon Him.

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

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Hooray For Hollywood! (Psalms 135:10-12)

Hooray for Hollywood!

Most are familiar with this song. It is often played at Hollywood events as well as every Academy awards ceremony. Upbeat and lively, it encapsulates the ethos of Tinseltown. The lyrics of this song are from a bygone era. Some of the names and references may elude this current generation. Here is an excerpt from one of the verses. 

Hooray for Hollywood!

You may be homely in your neighborhood

But if you think that you can be an actor, see Mr. Factor

He’ll make a monkey look good

Within a half an hour you’ll look like Tyrone Power

Hooray for Hollywood!

Lyrics by Johnny Mercer Audio Source: You Tube

Mr. Factor? Tyrone Power? Mr. Factor is Max Factor, a name that may still resonate with this current generation as a line of cosmetics marketed under the Coty label. Max Factor was the makeup artist for nearly all of the Hollywood elite until his death in 1938. Tyrone Power was an actor, blessed with good looks and famous for his swashbuckling leading man roles. He would be the equivalent of today’s Paul Rudd or Tom Cruise. In a bygone era, the names of Mr. Factor and Tyrone Power would be instantly recognizable to anyone hearing their names. 

What about the Bible? The Bible was written over the span of thousands of years. While most are familiar with names like Abraham, Moses, and David, there are numerous other names that are sometimes mentioned only once. Thus, I find it interesting that there are two names that are mentioned numerous times and they are not great saints of the Bible.

He struck down great nations and slaughtered mighty kings—Sihon king of the Amorites, Og king of Bashan, and all the kings of Canaan. He gave their land as an inheritance, a special possession to his people Israel. 

Psalms 135:10-12 (NLT)

When the Israelites conquered the land of Canaan to establish the kingdom of Israel, they defeated an astounding thirty-one kings! But there are two kings that are frequently singled out during the recounting of these great victories: Sihon, the king of the Amorites, and Og, the king of Bashan. They were kings who were greatly feared in their day. Jewish tradition suggests these two kings may have been brothers possessing giant physical proportions. In this bygone era, they were greatly feared, and their names would be immediately recognized. To defeat them would be continually celebrated and the story retold countless times. It would be akin to someone today, challenging and defeating Tiger Woods or Mike Tyson in their prime. 

When we hear older songs, it is instructive to learn about the names and places that are referenced. It helps us to understand the context and understand the intentions of the songwriter when he wrote it. The Bible is no different. When we do a deeper dive into the names and places of the Bible, we gain a profound insight into the context of the passage and understand the intentions of the writer. Who is this writer? God!

Hooray for God! He is the Author and Perfecter of our faith!

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

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Cursing And Swearing (Proverbs 18:21)

The soldiers were pinned down in their bunker by the incessant enemy artillery fire. Two of them were seriously injured and there was no way they could receive proper medical assistance. Their ammunition was running low and the enemy were so close, they could hear them conversing. Their situation was hopeless but their resolve steadied when one of the enemy soldiers yelled at them to surrender. Looking at one another, their resolve steadied and one screamed back, “ **** you!”

While this was a dramatized version of a famous wartime battle, the dialogue and actions were taken from one of the survivors and there was no reason to doubt the authenticity of the account. What would I have done in this situation? If my life and that of my friends were on the line, would I have reacted in the same manner, as these brave soldiers, and swore at my enemy? Is there any situation when cursing and swearing are acceptable?

I am always grateful to our armed forces and first responders who place their lives on the line for all of us. I have never been in a situation like these soldiers. Thus, should I accept behavior that I do not agree with simply because they are sacrificing their lives for my welfare?

Then he began to curse and swear, saying, “I do not know the Man!” Immediately a rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So he went out and wept bitterly.

Matthew 26:74-75 (NKJV)

The Bible records this sad incident the evening that Jesus Christ was arrested. The Apostle Peter, one of Jesus’ closest disciples, vehemently denied that he knew Jesus, when questioned by those around him, even cursing and swearing. Peter knew that if he admitted he knew Jesus, he would meet the same certain death as his Lord. Was Peter justified in cursing and swearing?

The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.

Proverbs 18:21 (NLT)

As a Christian believer, God, the Holy Spirit indwells within me. However, I still retain my old nature which often reveals its presence with issues in controlling my tongue and speech. It is my continual spiritual battle to allow God to transform and conform me to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. I pray that when my life is on the line, I will cling to the promises of Jesus Christ and not rely upon my fallen sinful nature, demeaning my witness for God by a poor choice of profane words, reaping unholy consequences. 

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

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I Would Not Have Known The Difference! (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

Recently, I tasted a dish prepared with a popular meat substitute. The appearance, texture and smell were indistinguishable from real beef. And the taste? As a die-hard carnivore, I would definitely eat this if I could no longer eat beef. I could not readily determine which was the substitute and the authentic product, even when tasted side by side. Very clever food chemists were able to concoct a combination of different plant based products to simulate meat. Yet, there were some subtle drawbacks. It is definitely more expensive. In order to make it palatable, more salt was added and even a synthetically engineered molecule, identical to heme, one of the products in red blood cells, was added, so that the final product oozed “blood”. Very clever, indeed!

This was simply food. What about our spiritual lives? Can we be deceived into believing a false god or religion? Could we ever be in a Christian church and be surrounded with lies and false teachings? We are always under attack by Satan who seeks to deceive everyone by twisting God’s Truth into lies. How does he attempt to do this?

These people are false apostles. They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. In the end they will get the punishment their wicked deeds deserve. 

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 (NLT)

Simply because an action is good and helps people does not mean that it is from God. Satan cloaks his actions under the guise of acts of righteousness. There are even churches that claim to be Bible-believing yet deny the Trinity and even the divinity of Jesus Christ. This is not Christianity. How can we know the difference?

Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. 

1 John 4:1 (NLT)

It is important to know the difference when choosing a plant-based meat substitute over the real meat product. Our spiritual walk with God requires even greater discernment and scrutiny. We live in a world that is beset with spiritual warfare. False teachers and prophets. False servants of righteousness. The Bible instructs us to test everyone’s teaching, holding it up to the light of Gods’ Word, to see if it is the Truth. 

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

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The God Of Jacob (Psalms 46:11)

The Bible lists many names for God. The Lord of Hosts. I AM. The Almighty. However, there is one name that has always confused me. The God of Jacob. Why is God sometimes referred to as the God of Jacob? Why not the God of David? The God of Peter? Why is there a distinction?

Jacob was the grandson of Abraham, the father of the Jewish people. Unlike Abraham, Jacob often faltered in his faith. He was a conniver, even deceiving his father into thinking he was his twin brother Esau in order to steal his birthright. But it would all catch up with him. On the eve when he was about to be confronted by his brother, certain that his brother would kill him, God met him first. After literally wrestling and struggling with God for an entire evening, God crippled him and gave Jacob a new name, Israel. On that day, Jacob finally learned to become dependent upon God. No longer would he seek to do things his way, always attempting to manipulate situations and others for his selfish gain. He was broken by God. What was the result? God blessed Jacob with twelve sons who became the patriarchs of the twelve tribes of the nation of Israel. 

The LORD of Armies is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. 

Psalms 46:11 (CSB)

Our God is a personal God. He is the One who created us and knows us better than we know our own self. He meets our needs and cares for us like no one else. When I cry out to the God of Jacob, I am crying out to my personal Lord and Savior who has mercy on this vessel, broken by sin. Like Jacob, I am beset with pride and overwhelmed with concerns of this world, attempting to manipulate situations by my own efforts and for my personal gain. I am continually looking inward, drowning in my sorrows, instead of looking upward, to the God of Jacob, our stronghold and fortress. 

The God of Jacob. 

He is the same God for believers in Jesus Christ who have experienced His grace, mercy, and forgiveness. There is a distinction and all should call upon His Name.


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

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