Orange (James 1:17-18)

If one goes through my wardrobe or nearly all of my possessions, there is one color that is missing. Orange. This is unusual since very few people, outside of my family, know that orange is my favorite color. Yet, I do not wear it nor do I use that color as a design accent in my offices or any room in my home. Thus, it always comes as a bit of a surprise to others when they learn of this affinity.

I am unsure when I developed my love for this color but certainly an experience that I had when I was about 7 years ago influenced me. Our family adopted a stray cat. She was a mixed breed calico cat and one of the colors that her coat displayed were orange spots. Although it was the least prevalent of her colors, I decided to name her Orange. I loved my cat and I became enamored with the color orange. 

I do love to look at things with an orange color. I love sunrises and sunsets, fall foliage, a fireplace, flowers, and gemstones and minerals. I never tire of it. Yet the peculiar thing is I would rather be surprised by stumbling upon the color rather than pre-arranging to see it in my life and living spaces. 

Perhaps this is why I love my Lord Jesus Christ so much. He is always seeking to bless me, yet, my greatest pleasure is when He surprises me with His unexpected blessings. It is the seemingly happy coincidence of meeting a physician colleague who is also the pastor of music worship at a local church. It is the unexpected blessing of being reunited with a brother in the Lord who is now a pastor of the church where my cousins attend in another state. Coincidences? Unexpected blessings? Something much more beautiful is happening. 

Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession. 

James 1:17-18 (NLT)

A coincidence or unexpected blessing in God’s kingdom is God’s providence at work. God’s providence is Him caring for His children, His prized possession. God seeks to shower His blessings upon us in the most unexpected manner, delighting us with His Creation as He brings honor and glory to Himself. A random encounter with my favorite color or a meeting with a fellow Christian believer, it is all good and perfect because it is arranged by God.

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

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Medical Gaslighting (Jude 1:4)

Gaslighting is the phenomenon when one’s words and experiences are twisted and manipulated by another making one question one’s reality. It is pervasive and examples can readily be found in all forms of media, ages, and cultures. It can be psychologically damaging and may lead to very poor life choices and decisions. Medical gaslighting occurs when a patient is led to question the veracity of their own disease’s signs and symptoms. The health care professional may use phrases like, “It’s all in your head.” or “That’s normal for a person of your age.” While these phrases may be spoken with no sinister intention, and may, in fact, be true, a subtle message may be communicated to the patient. After hearing this, the patient may think to themselves, “Yes, perhaps it really isn’t that bad.” or conjure a reasonable excuse. “I’ve been feeling tired because I started a new exercise routine.” The patient may then descend a slippery slope. Critical laboratory and radiographic tests may not be ordered resulting in a delay in the diagnosis. This pattern may be repeated with other specialists resulting in further delays. Not surprising, medical gaslighting is more prevalent amongst women and minorities. It is a tragic situation when those in authority, intentionally or unintentionally, create a situation that may hinder access to health care.

Is there a spiritual gaslighting? Is there a situation when one deliberately attempts to mislead another, making them question their own spiritual reality? Sadly, this happens very often and it occurs with those who seem the least likely to do so. Pastors and leaders in our local churches, laypeople, even seminary professors-the Bible warned of such ungodly people. 

I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. 

Jude 1:4 (NLT)

It may begin with seemingly innocent phrases such as, “I am sure God would want you to be happy, so go ahead and do it.” or “The Bible does not specifically mention this so God leaves it up to us to decide.” While the actions that lead from these statements may be appropriate, everything must be tested and held to the light of God’s Word. If it leads to one questioning one’s spiritual reality, this is a sure warning. 

In any form, gaslighting is a dangerous practice. We need to be aware of when it is happening to us and if we are unintentionally doing it to others. 

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

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“After Fifty Years, You Ask A Lot Of Questions…” (1 Kings 11:1-3)

“This is a great restaurant, thanks for recommending it!”

My wife and I were dining with our close friends. The restaurant was a new one with a great pedigree and we were fortunate to get a reservation. I enthusiastically nodded. “You’re welcome! Yeah, I found these two foodie bloggers who gave a detailed review of some dishes we should order.”

“Let’s do it!”

The recommendations did not disappoint and as we were enjoying these culinary creations, my friend commented, “Wow these bloggers were spot on. It’s incredible how much these foodie bloggers write. Who has time to write all these reviews?”

Thoughtfully pausing a few seconds, he said, “Oh wait. I do. I’m retired!”

My friend smiled and declared, “After fifty years, you ask a lot of questions, and you end up answering them yourself!”

I collapsed in laughter. Too funny! I have found myself doing the same thing. It is interesting how some behaviors slowly creep into our lives until they become a part of our daily activities. I cannot recall the first time I did this but it is now so frequent that I do not even notice it as an aberrant behavior. How does this happen? The Bible provides some insight with this sad tale of one of the wisest men who ever lived, King Solomon. 

Now King Solomon loved many foreign women. Besides Pharaoh’s daughter, he married women from Moab, Ammon, Edom, Sidon, and from among the Hittites. The LORD had clearly instructed the people of Israel, “You must not marry them, because they will turn your hearts to their gods.” Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway. He had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines. And in fact, they did turn his heart away from the LORD. 

1 Kings 11:1-3 (NLT)

King Solomon began his reign with very good intentions. One of his early prayers to God was to ask for wisdom and understanding to judge and govern the people. God was so pleased with his request, He not only granted his prayer but blessed him with unimaginable wealth and fame. It was a very promising beginning. Yet, even in this earliest period, some disturbing behaviors emerged. His first wife was a foreigner, an Egyptian, a marriage of political convenience. He did not stop there and repeated this hundreds of times, justifying his actions as stabilizing and protecting Israel through these political alliances with neighboring kingdoms. Slowly, as God warned, these many foreign wives turned his heart and he began to worship the gods of his wives and concubines. The Bible does not tell when Solomon first did this but by the end of his life, his actions were part of his regular behavior.

It is true that at a certain age, one begins to ask a lot of questions and may end up answering them yourself. Recognizing this behavior is the first step to correct it. Like our dinner conversation, the consequences may be insignificant. However, one always needs to re-examine one’s behaviors in the light of God’s Word to ensure that we are obeying God and not man.


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

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Billboards (Romans 16:3-5)

Cool! There’s another one! 

I pressed my face against the oversized windows of the tour bus as we passed another billboard along the freeway. It was my first visit to California and the first time I had left my island home of Hawaii. I was 11 years old and my mother took me and my younger sister on a summer vacation trip to Southern California. Amongst the usual tourist spots such as Magic Mountain, Disneyland, and Knotts Berry Farm, I was treated to something that I had never seen before, except in movies and television shows-billboards.

Hawaii has a law banning billboards. Recently I learned that three other states, Alaska, Vermont, and Maine, have adopted similar laws. Like Hawaii, which was the first, the laws were written to protect the natural beauty of their respective states, preserving and protecting the very qualities that make Hawaii and these other states tourist destination spots.

However, when I was younger, I did not care about these issues. All I wanted to see was a billboard, regardless if it covered or hid any natural beauty or was an eyesore with relentless and repetitive advertisements. Presently, I sometimes look behind the billboards to see what is being obscured. Although many times, it is simply another building, at times I have been surprised by the view of a tree or other natural wonder that I would not have noticed had I not made the extra effort. 

How much more of God’s beauty and truth would I be exposed to and be made aware of if it wasn’t covered with extraneous, man-made details? What about the Church? In many parts of the world, Christian believers face persecution for their faith. Their Christian faith is outlawed and punishable by death if anyone is found with a Bible or professes their faith in Jesus Christ. Their families are imprisoned, tortured, and even murdered. They are unable to worship in a public church and meet in homes and secret locations. It is no different than the first churches. 

Give my greetings to Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in the ministry of Christ Jesus. In fact, they once risked their lives for me. I am thankful to them, and so are all the Gentile churches. Also give my greetings to the church that meets in their home. 

Romans 16:3-5 (NLT)

The first Christian churches were not ornate cathedrals or ultramodern spectacles of metal and glass. They were groups of devoted believers, meeting in homes. The Apostle Paul recognized and honored his dear sister and brother in the Lord, Priscilla and Aquila, and greeted the church that met in their home. There were no youth programs or elaborate worship teams. There were only believers meeting to pray and worship the living God, Jesus Christ. Today’s churches have many programs that are noble undertakings and provide important activities but perhaps we need to look behind the facade of the building and return to the essence of what makes the Church, the living Body of Jesus Christ. Like looking behind the billboards, the true beauty and mission of the Church may be found in the corporate worship of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.


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

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Safe Enough (Proverbs 4:23)

I closed the door of the hotel room safe and entered the four digit code. My wife and I were preparing to leave our hotel room and I placed my laptop and her jewelry into the safe. After closing it, I realized I needed to check something and re-entered the code. Unexpectedly, the safe did not open. I re-entered the code several times but to no avail. We contacted the front desk who sent a repair person. When he arrived, the repair person used a special electronic key that overrode the lock and immediately opened the safe. I asked the repair person how often this happens? He stopped and looked upward, searching his memory. “Maybe once in the last 10 years!” He smiled. “Thankfully, not very often!”

Well, at least a safe, lives up to its name! Yet, as the repair person efficiently demonstrated, the electronic code could easily be overridden. The reality is that even the most secure safe can be broken into as the notorious history of thefts can attest. Our lives are no different. We take precautions with our homes, our cars, and even our clothing to protect ourselves from unwanted entries and theft. We take many precautions to protect our possessions, yet, the most important possession is our heart. It is the metaphysical seat of our soul and influences our decisions. Do we undertake the same compulsive steps to protect it?

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. 

Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)

Satan seeks to steal our hearts. He does so by planting doubt, influencing others to lead us astray by playing upon our weaknesses. He is continually at war with God. He hates us and would love to lead any follower of Jesus Christ astray. We need to take precautions against the wiles and schemes of the devil. How do we do this? We avail of the only foolproof protection against spiritual theft: the armor of God!

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 

Ephesians 6:13-17 (NLT)

Our hearts will be safe and never be stolen from God when we place our trust and faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. 


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

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Original Sin (Romans 5:17-18)

Original sin.

Even those who have no religious background are familiar with this term. Christians use this term to describe the fallen and weakened state into which everyone is born, because of the sin of our ancestral parents, Adam and Eve, in the garden of Eden. There is a variation of this term that has been making headlines. 

Original antigenic sin.

It is also known as immune imprinting and the Hoskins effect. It refers to the phenomenon of how the body’s immune system produces its initial immune antibody response to a foreign antigen, such as a virus, which successfully eliminates the infection. However, if the body is re-exposed to the same virus with some of its antigenic proteins slightly modified because of the adaptation by the virus, the body will still recognize the original antigens and produce antibodies to it but may not develop antibodies against the new antigens. The result is a weakened immune response. With each new adaptation of the virus, the immune system may still only recognize the original antigens and not the new ones, leading to a progressively weaker immune response.

The application to the current COVID pandemic is relevant because of the use of vaccines and boosters. Some scientists fear that giving boosters that still focus on the original antigens will force the immune system to lock in on these antigens, hindering the immune system to mount a vigorous response to new antigens. Other experts dismiss this possibility, saying that as long as the new vaccines are created to produce antibodies specifically against these new variants, it will continue to provide adequate protection. 

For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ. Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. 

Romans 5:17-18 (NLT)

The original sin describes our fallen state with inevitable suffering and death. The original antigenic sin mimics this with an immune system that is increasingly impaired to defend against foreign antigens. We attempt to tweak God’s design for our bodies with our man made vaccines but ironically, this may be creating a worse situation. Likewise, by our own efforts, we are unable to overcome our nature to sin and become ever weaker and more susceptible to sinning. Only by the supernatural intervention of Jesus Christ can we be saved from this fate. Thanks be to God that He has reconciled us to Him, bringing us into a right relationship through faith and belief in Jesus Christ. 

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

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Using The F-Word (2 Corinthians 13:5)

In this age of political correctness, there are very few topics that can be publicly discussed without the risk of being canceled or publicly shamed. Thus it is surprising that social media is willing to tolerate issues regarding the F-word. Yes, you read correctly. The F-word. Faith!

Politicians, celebrities, and other public figures are now openly questioning each other’s faith. This line of questioning occurs when another’s opinions differ from their own. It ranges on diverse topics such as how the homeless and undocumented immigrants are treated to viewpoints on abortion. Arguments begin with statements like, “A good Christian would never allow this to happen.” or “I question this person’s faith if they condone this.” Social media readily posts these rants as long as it is in line with their own views and ignores others that contradict their professed stance. 

Is it ever appropriate to question the faith of another? Like all questions, it depends upon the context. Our Lord Jesus Christ questioned the faith of the Pharisees when they exhibited hypocritical actions attempting to serve God but catering to their own interests. Peter did not escape the scrutiny of our Lord when he boasted that he would never leave Him just before he denied knowing Him. The Bible even commands us to test and question our own faith.

Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith. 

2 Corinthians 13:5 (NLT)

How do we examine and test ourselves? Everything we do and say must be held to God’s standard, which He revealed to us in the Bible. Like a blacksmith testing the metal he is working with, we must be willing to undergo trials to prove our faith. All of this is done by praying to God to intervene in our lives. 

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. 

Psalms 139:23-24 (NLT)

There are times when we should question the faith of another when their actions contradict God’s Word. However, before we do so, we need to look in the mirror and be honest with our own motives and intentions. Are we also willing to have our faith tested and questioned? Only by surrendering our will to God through faith and belief in Jesus Christ, will we be able to truthfully answer this question.

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

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“They Won’t Tell You This!” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

For over twenty years, Jake has serviced my laboratory’s microscopes. Every six months, he arrived and efficiently cleaned and inspected my microscopes ensuring they would be maintained in excellent working condition. This visit was different. It was the first time I had to call him for a repair. Frankly, I was surprised that after all these years and using these microscopes to view hundreds of thousands of microscope slides, a repair had to be made. It was a testimony to the excellent care he had rendered to my instruments.

After a few minutes, he looked up from the microscope and shook his head. “You see these little screws? They were loose and I tightened them.” He confidently smiled. “Most repair people won’t tell you this. They will just force you to buy an entire new unit for about two thousand dollars.” I was elated and thankful for Jake’s honesty and expertise. It reminded me of my experience with an auto dealer that once tried to talk me into buying an entirely new tire when I had a flat. Suspicious of his motives, I took my car to my usual tire repair shop who laughed at the suggestion and showed me that all that was needed was a simple patch to fix the flat tire.

We must always be wary of businesses that seek to oversell services and products and bamboozle the unsuspecting customer. Sadly, there are many who, in the name of God and religion, seek to confuse and gain our trust through deceit and lies. They will not explain the entire Truth but berry pick ideas and Bible verses that will give us a false sense of comfort; obedience and faith at no cost or sacrifice from ourselves or to God. 

Preacher and evangelist Paul Washer wrote, “One of the greatest distinguishing marks of false prophet is that he will always tell you what you want to hear, he will never rain on your parade; he will get you clapping, he will get you jumping, he will make you dizzy, he will keep you entertained, and he will present a Christianity to you that will make your church look like a six flags over Jesus.”

For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths. 

2 Timothy 4:3-4 (NLT)

We are living in an age when moral relativism and wokeness dominate our interactions. It is pervasive throughout social media, the press, and the workplace. Not surprisingly, it has crept into our churches. Like business dealings, we need to be alert to deceptive actions and charlatans. Only by clinging to the Truth of the entire Bible will we be prepared to respond to anyone who teaches otherwise.

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

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Alignment (John 15:5-7)

“I need to speak with you about our daughter’s car.”

The text message was urgent and I immediately called my wife who explained the situation. The front tires on her car were worn down to the threads. It was less than 6 months since the tires were inspected but in that short period, there was a dramatic increase in the uneven wear on the front tires. Somehow, her front wheels were severely knocked out of alignment. We found a tire shop that replaced the tires, packaging it with a lifetime warranty of rebalancing and realigning the tires. They recommended we bring the car in every six months for realignment. It was a striking and costly example of how important proper alignment of the tires is needed.

Our spiritual lives are no different. We need a spiritual realignment, not every six months but for every moment of our lives. Our Lord Jesus Christ encouraged His followers with this familiar example. 

Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!

John 15:5-7 (NLT)

Spiritual alignment with God is only possible if we confess and repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. When we do so, God sends His Holy Spirit to indwell within us. He guides our conscience, leading us to make the right decisions that please Him instead of catering to our faulty and selfish desires. 

We learned a costly and valuable lesson about keeping the wheels on our car in alignment. The cost is far greater when it involves our spiritual alignment with God. Abiding in Jesus Christ is the only solution and when we do, anything that we ask for will be done, according to His will.


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

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“I’m Trying To Help Her!” (Romans 2:4)

Even in the darkened room, illuminated only by moonlight, I noted an unfamiliar glimmer on the bathroom tile floor. What is that? I turned on the light and to my horror, discovered it was blood. Following the trail of blood, it led back to the kennel where my dog should have been sleeping. She was not there and was hiding under the bed, cowering in fear. I wanted to help her and softly spoke to her but she did not move. My dog has a recurring abscess in the glands around her anus. It is a common problem with some dog species and she has suffered through several previous bouts. 

Although I love my dog, she does not return my affection because she is afraid of me. This unfortunate event occurred when the rest of my family was vacationing out of state and I was left alone to care for her. In the morning before I left, I prayed for her and asked God to give her peace and comfort to allow me to coax her to enter her kennel so that I could take her to the veterinarian later in the afternoon. “I’m trying to help her and she won’t allow me to do so!” I thought to myself. I was frustrated. Even if what I was doing would help her, perhaps even save her life, my dog still rejected me. Thankfully, God answered my prayers and I was able to get her into the kennel and transport her to the clinic. 

Isn’t this how we sometimes act with God? God desires for none of us to perish but for all to have eternal life and salvation through faith and belief in His Son, Jesus Christ. Even if we reject His help, He continues to reach out to us because He loves us with a perfect love that is not dependent upon how we respond to Him. God takes the initiative. Why does He do this?

Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? 

Romans 2:4 (NLT)

Thankfully, I was able to get medical assistance for my dog. She still rejects my help. I am hopeful that someday she will understand that I am only seeking the best for her. Our Heavenly Father is the same. He is always seeking the best for His children. God showers us with His blessings and kindness to lead us to repent and turn away from our sins. 

Praise God for His grace and mercy!

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

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