“What Does A Producer Do?” (Daniel 2:20-22)

“I want to be a producer!”

“What does a producer do?”

“The producer is the person responsible for the entire presentation, from organizing the funding, setting the budget, hiring the actors and crew, and the marketing.”

“Wow! And I thought you wanted to be an actor.” 

“A producer has to know the roles of everyone, including the actor, director, writer, and stage crew. He takes all the risks but he gets all the rewards. He is at the top and decides everything. He is the production.”

I was in high school, engaged in an earnest discussion with my classmate. We were talking about college applications and career goals. His goal clearly distinguished him from the rest of us. Although I had seen the title of producer on movies and television show credits, I did not know the precise definition nor did I ever meet someone who wanted to pursue this as their career goal.

Flash forward to over forty years later. My friend is a well-known entrepreneur. His latest venture was CEO of a popular online shopping marketplace, selling it for millions of dollars. In all of the positions he has held, he is almost always the leader of the company. Although he has not produced a media or stage production, he has lived the role of a producer in all of his companies.

The desire to create and direct events, like a producer, is tempting. Some could use the term “playing God.” The Bible is replete with examples. 

Daniel said, “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to Him. It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding. It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him.”

Daniel 2:20-22 (NASB)

When the prophet Daniel spoke these words, he was about to meet Nebuchadnezzar, the most powerful ruler of the day. Daniel was not intimidated by a man who held the power of his life and much of the known word, in his hands. Daniel knew that all kings and all nations existed only by the will of God. Years later, when Nebuchadnezzar declared how great and magnificent he was to produce his kingdom, God humbled him, driving him insane and reducing him to live as an animal for seven years. Only when he came to his senses, did Nebuchadnezzar understand that nothing he had was by his own efforts. He finally acknowledged the true God, who produced everything. 

What does a producer do?

Only God can correctly and truthfully answer this!


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

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Shohei (1 Timothy 5:17-18)

“He’s just tied his personal best of striking out thirteen, and if that’s not enough, he went 3 for 5 with a double and 1 RBI!” The radio announcer was breathless as he recounted the performance of this professional baseball player. When most baseball players begin playing at a young age, if they are pitchers, they are expected to bat. However, if they are fortunate to play collegiate or professional baseball, most pitchers do not take a place in the batting lineup. All of their efforts are expected to be focused upon their pitching and thus, most pitchers are poor hitters. If they are in the batting lineup, they may attempt to bunt or half-heartedly swing at a pitch. Recognizing this, many years ago, major league baseball created the designated hitter. This was a player who could be inserted into the batting order to bat for another player, most commonly the pitcher. The designated hitter is purely an offensive weapon and does not play a position in the field. 

Shohei Ohtani, a celebrated pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels, is a remarkable exception. He is a formidable pitcher, one of the best in the major league. Whenever he pitches, Ohtani takes his place in the batting lineup and does not need to be replaced by a designated hitter. Why? He is also a feared offensive weapon! He can do it all. Shohei Ohtani is a unicorn, able to do what few have ever done in professional baseball. He rightly deserves to be honored for his accomplishments. If you have not had the pleasure to see this amazing player, here are highlights from the game referenced at the beginning of this blog. 

Source: YouTube

The elders who are good leaders are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says: “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain”, and, “The worker is worthy of his wages.” 

1 Timothy 5:17-18 (CSB)

Like a baseball team, the local church has many positions. There are those who preach, teach, manage, and counsel others, just to name a few. There are very few who can perform all of these roles with expertise and efficiency. For these special individuals, God recognizes their special gifts that He has bestowed upon them. 

A church elder is a leader, one who is a mature Christian, tested and vetted by the entire congregation and the pastoral staff. There are many roles an elder is expected to fill and if the elder is also able to preach and teach, he is doubly honored. What a rare blessing and accomplishment!

I have been privileged to work with elders who have been blessed with more than one gift. Like Ohtani, they are rare and gifted individuals and I am in awe when I am in the presence of these great saints. 

Praise God for the elders and leaders who faithfully serve the Church, the Body of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.


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

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PREview (2 Timothy 4:3)

“And the medical school I am applying to requires the PREview.”

“A preview of what?”

“No, the P-R-E-view.” My student spelled it out. I was meeting a recent college graduate who was taking a gap year to prepare for medical school. He was describing a new admissions requirement, one which I was unfamiliar with and needed to research it.

It has been exactly forty years since I applied to medical school. While grades in undergraduate classes and scores from the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) still form the main criteria by which applicants are screened and ultimately picked, there have been subtle changes in the application process. A few years after I attended medical school, the MCAT added a written essay, designed to evaluate an applicant’s writing and communication abilities. However, that was dropped after a few years. The PREview is the latest addition. 

PREview is an acronym for the Professional Readiness Exam. It evaluates eight core competencies for medical school applicants that include:

Service orientation

Social skills

Cultural competence


Ethical responsibility to self and others

Reliability and dependability

Resilience and adaptability

Capacity for improvement

Source: AAMC PREview

An applicant is presented with 30 different scenarios that cover situations in healthcare, education, and the real world. Applicants rate the solutions given with a rating ranging from very effective to very ineffective. At the completion of the 75-minute examination, their answers are compared to the answers given by a panel of medical school professors. The scores are given a total score of 1 to 9, with 9 representing the 100th percentile. The final score is another data point along with an applicant’s undergraduate grades and MCAT scores. As of 2023, 6 medical schools require this test, and 10 others recommend it. While this is a small percentage of the 155 allopathic medical schools in the United States, it is anticipated that many schools will adopt this additional examination.

I applaud the effort for medical schools to add this additional test, however, it is far more subjective than grades and MCAT scores. How does one assess character, especially if the test is administered in 75 minutes? There are review courses that coach applicants in the same manner they help them prepare to take the MCAT. If this helps the applicant give the answers the panel of professors are looking for, does this mean the applicant has truly mastered these core competencies? Is this an effective examination and screening tool?

They tell the seers, “Stop seeing visions!” They tell the prophets, “Don’t tell us what is right. Tell us nice things. Tell us lies.”

Isaiah 30:10 (NLT)

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.

2 Timothy 4:3 (NLT)

The Bible warns us that we need to be wary of people and situations when others tell us what we want to hear. The PREview is a good start to screen for qualified candidates for medical school. However, like our spiritual walk in life, we must be alert to situations in which people tell us what we want to hear rather than to hear and speak the truth. 

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

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Finding The Right Treatment (Isaiah 29:13)

The calendar alerted me to my appointment. It was 56 days, eight weeks since my last blood donation. I could donate once again… and check my cholesterol. When I was a pathology resident, one of my clinical responsibilities was to oversee the hospital blood bank and blood donor center. I, and most of my fellow residents, wanted to set a good example by also donating blood. If one is in good health, whole blood may be donated every 56 days. A perk that was offered to me as a pathology resident was the option to send a sample of my blood to the laboratory to check my serum lipid levels. During this time, there was a great deal of attention focused upon different ways to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. A variety of interventions including high oral doses of Vitamin C and Vitamin E, vigorous exercise, red wine, and low fat and high protein diets were touted. I decided I would experiment on myself to find what worked best for me.

For two months, I took Vitamins C and E, then measured my levels. No change. The next two months were vigorous aerobic daily exercise. No change. The next two months was a daily glass of red wine. Same negative result. The only intervention that worked was an extreme low-fat diet, almost like a vegan diet, before the term was in vogue. Yes, my lipid levels did decline but I was miserable, longing for food that a hard-core carnivore, like me, loved. No, it would have to be another way. By chance, I stumbled upon the proper treatment. I took soluble fiber pills with dramatic results. My lipid levels dramatically decreased, and my HDL (so-called good cholesterol) doubled. I did not change my diet, drink wine, exercise, or take vitamin supplements. It was all done with soluble fiber. 

While all of the other interventions have been shown to work in different groups of patients, the only one that worked for me was soluble fiber. Whenever patients or friends come to me for advice on how to lower their lipid levels, I share my experience with them but add the disclaimer that although it worked for me, it may not work for them. Medical treatments must be tailored for the individual.

Our spiritual lives are no different. There is no local church that is the right fit for all Christian believers. One may seek an uplifting music worship service, while others focus upon an active youth or young adult ministry. These are very important and relevant for anyone making a decision about joining a church. However, in addition to meeting one’s personal needs and goals, honoring God should always be at the core of any church.

And so the Lord says, “These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote. 

Isaiah 29:13 (NLT)

Like finding the proper medical intervention, the process of finding the right church may take time. There are many options, but a godly church will honor God and ground its teachings solely upon the Bible. Many church programs and ministries may seem attractive, fulfilling one’s personal needs but if the church does not honor God, the worship is man-made and is an affront to God.

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

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Debt Ceiling (Colossians 2:13-14)

Many families carry a mortgage on their home. As a generic example, perhaps the outstanding loan payments comprise 20% of a family’s earned income. Collectively the family decided to keep their debt burden at or below 20%. However, if an emergency emerges, it may be necessary for the family to borrow more money to pay for their new expenses. The family decides to raise their debt ceiling to 30% to accommodate their new expense. While they still maintain a positive cash flow with their incomes, they are taking on more risk of defaulting on their loans if something were to happen that interrupted or diminished their current income streams. Translate this debt to trillions of dollars and this is the situation facing the United States and other countries. 

“If we don’t raise the debt ceiling, the country will default”

Every year, congress needs to vote to raise the debt ceiling. As this deadline approaches, it seems that every news story focuses upon the looming deadline. Whispers of an impending catastrophic financial crisis abound as the negotiations continue until the last minute. In a sense, it is an artificial ceiling, self-imposed by the government. Unless spending is reigned in, the debt ceiling will continue to be raised. If something interferes with the income and revenue streams of the country, such as a war or pandemic, the potential to default on its debt payment could become dire. 

How much debt can a person or nation carry? It depends upon the type of debt. Like most homeowners and nations, the debt is financial and solely dependent upon the ability of the debt holder to repay their loans. What if the debt is spiritual and involves our sins against God? Is there a spiritual debt ceiling?

When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 

Colossians 2:13-14 (NASB)

Since we have been born, we have rebelled and sinned against God. How do we repay our debt to God? Unlike our financial debt, we cannot work harder, nor can we find new revenue streams. Nothing we can do will ever erase the debt we owe to God. Only a supernatural invention can cancel this debt. God had to take the initiative. He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for our sins. 

Jesus canceled out the certificate of debt that we owed to God. By confessing and repenting of our sins and accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we will eliminate our debt to God. Our debt ceiling of sins is eliminated. And that makes headlines in Heaven, whenever a sinner repents.

Praise God for His grace and mercy!

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

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Why Am I Included? (Psalms 22:27-28)

It was touted as the model for well-run companies, creating a new way to distribute energy across the increasingly complex power-grid of the United States. However, within a few years, a series of expose articles and whistle-blowers questioned the financial management and operations of the company. The company was Enron and on November 28th, 2001, the company that was once valued at over 100 billion dollars, was bankrupt. Thousands lost their jobs and the company ceased to exist. 

There are so many tragic stories that are still being told. Enron and its leaders were convicted of fraud and many were fined and imprisoned. What about the much larger number of rank and file employees? Lawsuits filed on behalf of numerous employees were only able to recover a paltry amount of their lost pensions. Many wondered what they did to deserve their fate? Why were they being punished along with their company? They were only doing their job, it was their company and its leadership that deserved to be punished, not them!

The Bible includes many examples of God passing judgment upon nations. In the Old Testament, the leader of the nation, the king, was judged for leading his nation to sin. When a nation passes laws that oppose God, it may bring judgment upon that nation. When nations were judged, it led to their destruction and/or captivity. Judgment was rendered upon Israel’s enemies such as Moab, Edom, and the Egyptians. Eventually judgment was rendered upon Israel and Judah leading to destruction of their homelands and exile to Assyria and Babylon, respectively. Thousands of its citizens were displaced and subjected to torture and untold suffering. If I was a citizen of Israel or Judah when this happened, like an employee at Enron, I would wonder why must I be included in a judgment of a nation? Our Lord Jesus Christ warned of this impending judgment upon the nations and its citizens. 

But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left. 

Matthew 25:31-33 (NLT)

We live in a fallen world. In the United States and many other countries, there are laws that directly oppose the Bible’s teaching. With increasing frequency, we are seeing how a bold stand for God can result in social media shaming joined with a cancel culture directed against Christians who are willing to stand for God’s Word. If we are citizens of a nation that rebels against God, like an employee at Enron, we will be judged along with our leaders. 

The whole earth will acknowledge the LORD and return to him. All the families of the nations will bow down before him. For royal power belongs to the LORD. He rules all the nations. 

Psalms 22:27-28 (NLT)

God is not mocked. God is holy and He must judge sin. When Jesus Christ returns all nations and its citizens will finally acknowledge that He is the Lord and true ruler of all. 

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

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Remember This? (John 14:26)

It resembled a small flip mobile phone. Small and sleek, it could easily fit in one’s pocket or purse. It was a UV wand and nearly everyone carried one. Stores and online shopping sites could not keep them in stock. Here is an example.

Source: Walmart.com

It was only three years when the world was gripped by the COVID pandemic. This UV wand and similar devices were ubiquitous. We had several in our home and I purchased one for each of my co-workers to sterilize their workspaces. In spite of this, one co-worker did not remember what it was when I showed it to him. How quickly we forget!

The chaos of COVID disrupted everyone’s lives. For many, including myself, we all said “Good riddance!” at the end of 2020 only to learn that 2021 was not very different. Many habits which I acquired during the pandemic, I still practice. I have a drawer of reusable cloth face masks, which I still use. I have a desktop UV sterilizer which my cell phone is placed in everyday. Yet, as my co-worker demonstrated, our memories, even of recent events, may be fleeting and selective. 

Depending upon the Bible translation, the word “remember” and its variants are cited over five hundred times. God continually reminds us of the promises He has kept. Especially during traumatic events, our memories may falter. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ understood this. After spending three years with His disciples, Jesus told them that He would soon die and be resurrected on the third day. The Messiah would die! There could be no more jarring or disturbing news than this. 

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

John 14:26 (NASB)

Three years after it began, the world is still reeling from COVID. Yet, even now, some memories of commonplace events are fading. For three years, Jesus Christ lived on this earth with His disciples. Yet, even in His constant presence, they still did not remember everything He taught or did. They would be cowering in fear when He was crucified but three days later, His glorious Resurrection proved that He is God by conquering sin and death. He sent the Holy Spirit to remind them of everything He taught and promised them. Everyone who places their faith in Jesus Christ will receive the comforts of His Holy Spirit so that we will always remember His promises. 

Our memories are faulty and fleeting. Thanks be to God that His Holy Spirit we can never be reminded enough of what God has done through us by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.


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

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Hidden Talents (Romans 12:1)

At the college I attended, several times a year, our dining hall hosted what was called a “Special Dinner.” The dinners were frequently themed to different countries and this evening’s theme was France. As I eagerly filed into the dining room with my roommates, I was pleased to hear live music greet us. “La Vie en rose” was being beautifully rendered on a harmonica! Impressive! And what made it an even greater surprise was the musician. It was Jake, my classmate! Friendly and gregarious, I always enjoyed spending time with him, but I never knew he had such an amazing hidden talent!

I am always pleased to learn of the hidden talents of my friends and colleagues. One colleague is a champion in ultimate frisbee, even representing his native homeland in the world championship. Another dear friend expertly carves vegetables and fruits to create remarkable presentations for festive occasions.

God generously imbues all of us with many talents. Some are only known to a small group of acquaintances; others may be on display for a large gathering. Yet, there are many hidden talents that may only be known by a few or even one person. These are the talents that God gives to us to minister to another person. At the right time and place, God brings people together so that He may comfort and encourage the Body of Christ, the Living Church. It may be a kind word, a helping hand, or simply being together in silent support. I have been the recipient of all these talents from brothers and sisters who allowed themselves to be used by God for that very moment. 

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 

Romans 12:1 (NLT)

There are many talents that remain hidden to most. God uses all of these for His glory for all who are willing to yield to His sovereign will. 

Praise God!

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

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“Rib Eye, Medium Rare!” (Ezekiel 34:11-12)

“Has the gentleman made his dinner selection?”

My son nodded. “Rib-eye.”

“Excellent choice! And how would the gentleman like that prepared?”


That’s my boy! I was beaming.

My wife smiled. “He’s copying you!”

“Well, he’s got good taste! Like father, like son!” I fist bumped my son. It was a proud moment when my son first emulated me, especially with one of my favorite activities, eating! Our family are carnivores and one of our favorite entrees is a rib-eye steak. It is the cut that I regularly grill at home and whenever we go to a steakhouse, it is my default choice. As many a steak lover can attest, medium-rare is the ideal preparation to maximize the flavor and texture of the meat. 

For thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd cares for his herd in the day when he is among his scattered sheep, so I will care for My sheep and will deliver them from all the places to which they were scattered on a cloudy and gloomy day. 

Ezekiel 34:11-12 (NASB)

God, the Father, spoke to the prophet, Ezekiel, thousands of years ago. He was encouraging the Jews who were in exile in Assyria and Babylon, reassuring them that He is the shepherd who will one day gather His scattered sheep, the Jews, and bring them back together. Thousands of years later, another spoke these same words. 

I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 

John 10:14-15 (NASB)

God, the Son, spoke to His disciples and other followers and used the same beautiful metaphor that God, His Father, used. Jesus was asserting that He and the Father were one and He would also shepherd the lost sheep of Israel, bringing them back to their homeland. 

Like Father, like Son!

Praise God!

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

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Peace Of Mind (John 14:27)

“Is that a Plug-In Hybrid you’re driving?”

I had just arrived home from a dinner meeting with a colleague when his text message appeared on my smartphone. He must have noticed my car when we were leaving the parking lot.

“Yes, love it! Thinking about getting one?”

“Unsure, but I like the idea of a hybrid because if the electrical power grid goes down, I wouldn’t be stuck. I really like the mileage.

“Yup! Let me tell you, last year, we took a road trip to Zion and the Grand Canyon. There were not a lot of electrical charging stations. In fact, for the majority of the trip, I was using the gas engine. All these electrical car companies boast about driving to different cities or crossing the country. You can, but when you start going off the main highways, that’s when you run into problems.”

“Exactly! I am leaning towards a plug-in hybrid but still not completely sold on your model.”

“No worries. I know it’s not for everyone, but it gives me peace of mind knowing that I have the best of both worlds.”

A thumbs up appeared, approving our exchange.

Peace of mind. Who doesn’t want this? It most certainly is because God wants to bless all believers with peace of mind if we keep our thoughts fixed upon Him.

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! 

Isaiah 26:3 (NLT)

On the night He knew He would be betrayed by Judas, Jesus Christ reminded His disciples that He was leaving them a gift. He blessed them in the same manner that God, His Father, did. He gave them peace of mind.

I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. 

John 14:27 (NLT)

If I was in Jesus’ place, I would be very distressed, knowing that one of my followers, who had been with me for three years, was about to betray me and turn me over to the Romans and Jewish leaders. I would definitely not have peace of mind, nor would I be able to encourage my followers to be at peace.

The troubles of the world frequently overwhelm me. Too often I fail to claim the promises that God gives us. Instead, I wallow in worry and self-pity. How desperately I need my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Only He can give me peace of mind because He is our peace who has broken down the walls of worry and sin.

When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer. 

Psalms 94:19 (NLT)


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