Perfect Pitch (Psalms 119:96)

Perfect pitch.

It is defined as the ability to recreate a given musical note without a reference tone. Such individuals are also able to identify the pitch of a note played by any musical instrument or the key of a musical piece. I don’t have this skill and for many years, I wished I did. However, recently I discovered an interesting fact that made me reconsider this. Only 2-4% of musicians have perfect pitch. While perfect pitch may be perceived as a desirable skill to have as a musician, it may also be a significant hindrance. If a song is transposed from a different key, it may be distressing for one with perfect pitch to enjoy or play along since they will always perceive the song as out of tune. Perfect pitch sounds like a desirable quality for a musician to have but there are caveats and drawbacks. 

Isn’t perfection always an enviable goal? The world informs us that this should be our goal in life, yet at times, perfection has unintended consequences. What about our spiritual lives? Certainly we should strive for perfection in our relationship with God but are there any drawbacks? What does God say?

Even perfection has its limits, but your commands have no limit. 

Psalms 119:96 (NLT)

While we may seek perfection in the things of this world, ultimately it will fail and leave us frustrated. Instead, the only perfection we should seek is with our relationship with God and His teachings. No limits, no drawbacks, and no unintended consequences. God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. True perfection is only realized by realizing and confessing our own imperfections and accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

Amen!

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

Complete Blogs on WordPress

Complete Blogs Indexed by Bible Verses

Big Number (Revelation 5:11-12)

Many years ago, I read a quirky cartoon. A group of visitors were at a science museum. The guide was discussing the fate of the earth and declared, “Within about five billion years, the earth will essentially cease to exist.”

One distressed visitor raised his hand and asked, “I’m sorry, did you say five million or five billion years?”

The guide repeated his statement. “Five billion years.”

The visitor breathed a sigh of relief. “Oh thank goodness. For a moment there, I thought you said five million years!”

The humor in this cartoon, of course, is that it would not make a difference to anyone in that museum or living today whether the earth would end in five million or five billion years. Big numbers. We casually use them but sometimes it is difficult to comprehend the magnitude even if we think we are able. The Bible records a scene in heaven when the Apostle John first beheld the throne of God, the Father. In it, he witnesses a big number of angels worshiping and praising God. It is an awe-inspiring sight!

Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!” 

Revelation 5:11-12 (NKJV)

I don’t know what number describing the angels surrounding the throne of God represents but I am confident that it is a big number! Other Bible translations have used the word millions. Regardless of the translation, the number is uncountable and incomprehensible for mere mortals to fathom. 

Here is another big number. The universe is estimated to be about 14 billion years old. God created the universe and existed before it ever came into existence. Like the numbers of angels that continually surround His throne in Heaven, the time frame that God has existed is incomprehensible. Trillions times trillions? Only God knows and thanks be to Him that only He can truly comprehend it.

We live in God’s Creation and only experience the smallest fraction of our existence on this earth. If we have confessed and repented of our sins and accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we will have all of eternity to experience God’s unlimited blessings. 

And THAT is a big number!

Amen!

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

Complete Blogs on WordPress

Complete Blogs Indexed by Bible Verses

Doing It In Person (1 Kings 10:6-7)

In this age of video conferencing and smartphones, it may seem that we do not have to meet in person to discuss important issues. Even world leaders have chosen to have many virtual meetings because of the immediacy, ease, and the concern for the transmission of COVID and other infectious diseases. While it is true that many important meetings occur virtually, we may learn that people eschew the convenience of a virtual meeting or phone call, opting for an in-person meeting. Even in this day of technological advances, nothing can absolutely substitute for doing it in person. In fact, if one chooses not to, it sends a very powerful message that the issue may not be that important or one may be trying to avoid the issue and potential confrontation. 

Several years ago, I had the unfortunate experience of a long-time dermatology client ending our professional relationship of nearly 20 years. Like every business, costs have skyrocketed and he decided it was cheaper to hire a dermatopathologist as part of their staff rather than outsource the services to someone like myself. While it was understandable, I wished that he informed me with a phone call or an in-person meeting rather than by an email. It was awkward since he already hired the dermatopathologist and made the decision. He was embarrassed and wanted to do this impersonally with an email, rather than with a face to face meeting. 

There were no cell phones or video conferencing when the Bible was written. Nonetheless, the principle of meeting and seeing someone in person was very real. The Queen of Sheba heard stories of the magnificence of King Solomon’s kingdom. She traveled hundreds of miles to meet King Solomon in person and see the splendor of his temple and the riches of the Kingdom of Israel in person. She was not disappointed. 

She exclaimed to the king, “Everything I heard in my country about your achievements and wisdom is true! I didn’t believe what was said until I arrived here and saw it with my own eyes. In fact, I had not heard the half of it! Your wisdom and prosperity are far beyond what I was told. 

1 Kings 10:6-7 (NLT)

The Queen of Sheba knew that it was important to see for herself if all the things she heard about King Solomon and God were true. 

How happy your people must be! What a privilege for your officials to stand here day after day, listening to your wisdom! Praise the LORD your God, who delights in you and has placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the LORD’s eternal love for Israel, he has made you king so you can rule with justice and righteousness.” 

1 Kings 10:8-9 (NLT)

For an important meeting or decision, I always prefer doing it in person. Our Lord Jesus Christ cited the example of the Queen of Sheba and praised her that she took the extra effort to see for herself the splendor and majesty of God. However, he chastised the Jewish leaders who failed to recognize the great works that Jesus had performed, proving that He is the Messiah. Their Lord and Savior was standing within their midst but they made no effort to verify His claims and dismissed His teachings and miracles which they heard and witnessed. As Jesus sternly warned the Jewish leaders:

The queen of Sheba will also stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for she came from a distant land to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Now someone greater than Solomon is here—but you refuse to listen. 

Matthew 12:42 (NLT)

The most important question everyone must answer for themselves is what is their eternal destiny? Are we simply animals that have evolved from a single cell organism with no soul? When we die, does everything cease to exist? Or is there something more, something greater than the wisdom of Solomon, something greater than a meaningless existence? God has given us the answer. If we confess and repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we will have salvation and eternal life. It must be a personal decision. No one else can make this decision. We must do it in person.

Will you accept the challenge?

Praise God!

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

Complete Blogs on WordPress

Complete Blogs Indexed by Bible Verses

Nothing Personal (Acts 18:1-3)

Several years ago, my wife and I were seeking a designer to remodel our home. We had asked several friends who had recently done a remodel and one of them used a designer whom we both knew and were mutual friends. He had an excellent reputation so we were surprised to learn that our friend did not use him. When we inquired about the reason, he replied, “He is an excellent designer. However, because we are friends, in case something goes wrong, I didn’t want anything to come in between our friendship. So we opted to go with another designer. It was nothing personal.”

I understood. Many of us turn to our friends for assistance, especially if they have an occupation or skill that can help us. However, even in the best of situations, problems and conflicts may arise. As the old adage states, sometimes it is better not to mix business with pleasure. Perhaps the Apostle Paul may have even experienced this. In the Book of Acts, Dr. Luke records that Paul’s occupation was a tentmaker. 

Then Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he became acquainted with a Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently arrived from Italy with his wife, Priscilla. They had left Italy when Claudius Caesar deported all Jews from Rome. Paul lived and worked with them, for they were tentmakers just as he was. 

Acts 18:1-3 (NLT)

The Bible does not record any incidents when Paul may have run into conflict between his relationships with his business associates and those with whom he ministered the Gospel. However, relationships have not radically changed in over two thousand years and it may have happened. Relationships with others may be fraught with personal misgivings because we may not want to share intimate personal details or jeopardize a friendship. This is never the case with God. He is intimately involved in everything we do. He is there when we make business decisions as well as implementing personal decisions. Why? He knows us better than we know ourselves! He created us and wants us to experience the richness of a life that He has prepared for us. 

Nothing personal?

Thanks be to God that He is always personal with us!


Amen!

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

Complete Blogs on WordPress

Complete Blogs Indexed by Bible Verses

Purity (Ezekiel 8:7-10)

A clean room is an ultra-sophisticated chamber which minimizes air-borne contamination. Clean rooms are important in many industries including the manufacture of semiconductors, life sciences, and nuclear engineering.  An international standard (ISO) has created levels of cleanliness ranging from 1 to 9. A level 1 ISO room, the highest level, must achieve a level of purity allowing 12 particles for each cubic meter of 0.3 μm and smaller. For comparison, most outdoor areas contain 35,000,000 particles for each cubic meter in the size range 0.5 μm and larger. With such stringent parameters in place, it is surprising when contamination is found. Recently, NASA researchers were chagrined to discover that their clean room was contaminated with mold, undoubtedly introduced by the researchers themselves!  The clean room was used to store rocks and particles obtained from space and other planets. Of the many experiments that were performed in this room, one of the most critical was the search for extraterrestrial life. The implications were profound. Cloaked under the guise of purity was a situation that threatened to upend our very understanding of extraterrestrial life. 

Then he brought me to the door of the Temple courtyard, where I could see a hole in the wall. He said to me, “Now, son of man, dig into the wall.” So I dug into the wall and found a hidden doorway. “Go in,” he said, “and see the wicked and detestable sins they are committing in there!” So I went in and saw the walls covered with engravings of all kinds of crawling animals and detestable creatures. I also saw the various idols worshiped by the people of Israel. 

Ezekiel 8:7-10 (NLT)

What a sordid scene this was! In the holiest and purest sanctuary of the Jews, their chief priests were worshiping false gods. They felt secure and hidden, naively thinking they could hide their carnal actions from the all-knowing and all-seeing God they claimed to honor and worship. Purity may sometimes hide a very impure situation. In our spiritual lives, we must always remain diligent to keep ourselves pure, alert to anything which may infiltrate and contaminate our lives, like the mold that infiltrated the clean room. If we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, His Holy Spirit continues to purify and sanctify us.

Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure. 

1 John 3:2-3 (NLT)

Amen!

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

Complete Blogs on WordPress

Complete Blogs Indexed by Bible Verses

“I Was Flying!” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

“Are you ready?”

I nodded, hoping my wide opened eyes didn’t betray my fear. My guide motioned a thumbs up. The roar of the turbine fans was deafening as I leaned forward into the chamber. In a second, I was suspended in mid-air. I was flying!

I was participating in an indoor skydiving ride. Giant turbine fans blew upward in a closed chamber with hurricane-force wind speed. A crew member controlled the speed of the turbines, adjusting it to the weight of the participants. My guide held on to me as I took my first hesitant movements in this airborne environment. After he was confident that I was successfully assuming the correct position to remain suspended, he let go of me for a few seconds, never more than inches away. On my first ride, I was hovering at a height of about four feet but on the second ride, I was elevated to a height of nearly twenty feet, my guide in constant contact with me. It was exhilarating and frightening!

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and hope to someday repeat it. However, I do not have the same desire to do an actual outdoor skydiving even though my guide informed me that this experience is equivalent. I am afraid of heights and I do not have as much confidence with a parachute as I do with an instructor holding on to me and another controlling the power turbine fans, assuring me that I would never be subject to a fatal fall. No, I am looking forward to a different, far more glorious flight.

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. 

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (NLT)

God has a promise to all who have confessed and repented of their sins and accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. We will all someday meet Him in the sky. Unlike my experience on the indoor skydiving ride, I will have absolutely no fear. My guide will be my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

What a wonderful promise! I was flying and someday, I will fly again!

Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

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

Complete Blogs on WordPress

Complete Blogs Indexed by Bible Verses

Nostalgia (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

I was listening to a beautiful modern rendition of a classic song. Although I was unfamiliar with the tune, I knew it was a popular tune during World War II. Many soldiers and their loved ones listened to this in hopeful expectation that they would be safely reunited. As I perused the online comments associated with the music video, many of an older generation posted their comments about how this song sustained them and their parents during difficult periods. I also came upon this insightful anonymous observation that elegantly summarized the feelings of myself and others.

“Weird how songs can make you feel nostalgic for memories you never had.”

Nostalgia evokes a longing for the past that is usually associated with fond memories. I was not yet born when this song was popular but I could definitely relate to the intense emotions and memories that were shared. We read in the Bible about the Garden of Eden. It was paradise that God created for the first couple, Adam and Eve. It was intended to be their eternal home with continual fellowship with God. Unfortunately, paradise was marred when both sinned, disobeying God, and banished from the Garden. Although none of us have ever lived there, we all long for this Paradise. Why?

Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT)

It is not a coincidence that we have a nostalgia for a memory we have never had. God created all of us with a God-shaped hole within our hearts, placing eternity in our hearts. Praise God for His grace and mercy to all who place their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior!

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

Complete Blogs on WordPress

Complete Blogs Indexed by Bible Verses

Encyclopedia Brown (Ecclesiastes 12:12-13)

“I know you are lying, and I will prove it!”

With that statement, the intrepid 10-year old boy adroitly pointed out the factual flaws spoken by the con artist. Encyclopedia Brown had solved another mystery! When I was about 8 years old, I read the library’s entire collection of Encyclopedia Brown aka Leroy Brown. Brown was a walking trove of facts and trivia. He used this knowledge to solve mysteries, crimes, and help others. I am pleased to see these books are still popular. 

Encyclopedia Brown (penguinrandomhouse.com)

In retrospect, these stories inspired me to be like him. About the same time I was reading these books, my parents gifted me with an encyclopedia set and I spent every free moment reading through all of the volumes. I did not use the knowledge to solve crimes but it did begin my life long interest to learn, continuing with my career as a surgical pathologist and dermatopathologist. What is the goal of learning all this knowledge? Encyclopedia Brown used it to help others. I have used it to stay current with the latest medical knowledge and help my patients and colleagues. Is there an even greater goal for which we should aspire?

But, my child, let me give you some further advice: Be careful, for writing books is endless, and much study wears you out. That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. 

Ecclesiastes 12:12-13 (NLT)

King Solomon, the wisest man of his time, was the author of Ecclesiastes and wrote the verses quoted above. He was a man whose prodigious study and writings would undoubtedly fill a modern day encyclopedia. Thus, it is instructive that at the end of his life he concluded that the end goal of learning is to learn to fear and respect God by obeying His commands. Good advice! God created and imbued us with this desire to learn. We should use this knowledge in service to God, helping others to see and learn of His grace and mercy for our lives. 

Amen!

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

Complete Blogs on WordPress

Complete Blogs Indexed by Bible Verses

Worth It (Acts 5:1-6)

“A thing worth having is a thing worth cheating for.”

W.C. Fields

The American comedian, W.C. Fields, quipped this over a hundred years ago, yet it still resonates with current sensibilities. The world informs us that if it feels good, do it. Riches. Fame. For some, these are the ultimate goals of life and if one needs to cheat to obtain it, why not? But what is the most important thing that is worth having? A family? A home? What about the salvation of our souls? The Bible bluntly records this exchange between the Apostle Peter and two alleged followers of Jesus Christ. 

But there was a certain man named Ananias who, with his wife, Sapphira, sold some property. He brought part of the money to the apostles, claiming it was the full amount. With his wife’s consent, he kept the rest. Then Peter said, “Ananias, why have you let Satan fill your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself. The property was yours to sell or not sell, as you wished. And after selling it, the money was also yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren’t lying to us but to God!” As soon as Ananias heard these words, he fell to the floor and died. Everyone who heard about it was terrified. Then some young men got up, wrapped him in a sheet, and took him out and buried him. 

Acts 5:1-6 (NLT)

As if that were not enough, when Sapphira arrived three hours later, she was unaware of what happened to her husband, but would soon join him. 

About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, “Was this the price you and your husband received for your land?” “Yes,” she replied, “that was the price.” And Peter said, “How could the two of you even think of conspiring to test the Spirit of the Lord like this? The young men who buried your husband are just outside the door, and they will carry you out, too.” Instantly, she fell to the floor and died. When the young men came in and saw that she was dead, they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear gripped the entire church and everyone else who heard what had happened. 

Acts 5:7-11 (NLT)

Is it worth it? Many, like the tragic examples of Ananias and Sapphira, have tried to cheat and lie their way into heaven. It does not have to be this way. Salvation is worth having and this is why Jesus paid the penalty for our sins because we could never achieve this by our own actions. No lying. No cheating. Salvation is offered as a free gift to all who confess and repent of their sins and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. 

It is definitely worth it!


Praise God for His grace and mercy to all of us.

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

Complete Blogs on WordPress

Complete Blogs Indexed by Bible Verses

Saturday (Hebrews 4:9-10)

“Good night! Happy Good Friday and have a Happy Easter Sunday!”

As I said my farewell to my co-workers at the end of the workday on Good Friday, a thought crossed my mind. Why don’t we mention Saturday? For many of us during Easter weekend, it is a day of preparation, usually for a family gathering around an Easter meal. However, we never speak of Saturday. What happened in Jerusalem on the first Easter weekend? While the Bible does not give us any details of what happened, we do know that Saturday is the Sabbath, the day of rest for the Jews. It was established by God when He created the universe. After six days of creative activity, God rested. He did not rest because He was tired. He rested because He ceased from laboring. The Jews also observed the Sabbath and had strict regulations about what types of activities could be done on the Sabbath. What was Jesus Christ doing?

Even Bible scholars are divided on what happened on that day. Some suggest that Jesus descended into hell to free those who died in faithful service to God. Others suggest nothing happened, it was a solemn day of silence as Jesus lay in rest in His tomb. Regardless, one fact is certain. On Sunday, Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead. He received a glorified body, one that still bore the marks of Crucifixion. 

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.

Hebrews 4:9-10 (NIV)

During the Saturday of the first Easter weekend, Jesus became our Sabbath-rest. We no longer have to work for our salvation by doing good works and following rules and regulations. We enter into the Sabbath rest of Jesus Christ by confessing and repenting of our sins and accepting Him as our Lord and Savior. 

For many of us, the Saturday of Easter weekend is a day of preparation. It was also a day of preparation for God. On that Saturday, God, the Father, was preparing the world to receive the resurrected Savior. Even on a day when seemingly nothing was happening, the most important event in Creation was about to occur. Jesus Christ would conquer death.

There are times we may feel dejected and abandoned, thinking that God has forgotten us. No doubt the disciples and many of the followers of Jesus Christ felt the same way on that Saturday after seeing their Lord crucified. Easter Sunday, the Resurrection, reminds us that no matter how dark our current circumstances may appear, God is always at work, preparing us to experience even greater glories. 

Hallelujah!


Christ is risen!

Christ is risen indeed!

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

Complete Blogs on WordPress

Complete Blogs Indexed by Bible Verses