Month: August 2015

Sin is Sin

John was driving on the highway doing 70 in a 55 zone.  Several cars passed him doing 75 or more.  A state patrol pulled John over and gave him a ticket for speeding.  John was outraged.  He spoke up to the officer, “I know I was going over the speed limit but many others were going faster than me!  Why didn’t you pull them over?”  The officer looked at John and said, “You were the one that set off the radar gun.  You were speeding.  Does the fact that others are doing worse than you make your actions better?”  The officer gave John the ticket and said, “please obey the speed limit and don’t justify your driving by someone who is driving worse than you.  Have a nice day.”

Who’s sin is greater? Yours or theirs? Does it matter? Sin is sin.

Romans 3:22-24 (NIV)

22 This righteousness is given through faith in[a] Jesus Christ to all who believe.There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.


Matthew 7:2-4 (NIV)

For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?

Charity? Let the government do it!

Below is a blog from National Review:

Why are the politicians always pushing for the government to help the poor when they don’t help personally?

It is rather sickening . . . $300 in donations from Biden . . . used clothing. . . . less than 1% in donations . . . or how about donating to your own foundation and using it as a playground?

It is not my intent to throw stones at others – whether they are rich or poor but when a group of people push legislation and judgment on others and they don’t offer a hand personally I am quick to pickup a few pebbles.   It really is shocking!

Mark 12:41-43  (NIV)

The Widow’s Offering

41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.

43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.



Which Political Party Is More Charitable?


by NANCY FRENCH September 4, 2013 10:02 AM @NANCYAFRENCH

Recently, a Chronicle of Philanthropy study evaluating the giving patterns of conservatives and liberals revealed that liberals are an uncharitable bunch: People who live in deeply religious regions of the country — the solid-red states of the Bible Belt and Utah — give more of their income to charity than those who don’t. Of the top 10 most generous states, according to a Chronicle of Philanthropy study based on itemized charitable contributions among people who made at least $50,000, nine voted for Mitt Romney in 2012.

Doesn’t that fly in the face of conventional wisdom? I wrote on how this study should affect the stereotypical characterization of conservatives:

When my husband David was a student at Harvard Law School, his fellow students couldn’t stomach his conservatism. They talked endlessly about how Christians and conservatives were pompous, didn’t care about justice, and were far too concerned about abortion and gay issues than the kinds of things that really mattered.  Mainly, they talked about poverty, how to reduce it, and how Republicans were more worried about making money than helping the down-and-out. One day, David saw a notice about a club at Harvard that actually went into impoverished areas and tried to help kids trapped in unfortunate circumstances — by getting the Harvard students to “adopt” a little brother or sister and take them under the student’s wing.  He showed up at the first meeting to sign up and was very surprised.  Though practically every self described liberal student said talked incessantly about their “concern for the poor” almost everyone who actually showed up for the meeting was a Christian.  David “adopted” a little brother, took him to baseball games, and developed a meaningful friendship with him. His Christian friends did the same. But he learned an important fact: liberals talk about helping the poor; conservatives actually help the poor. David’s experience at Harvard was hardly an isolated incident.

Read more at:



Painted Door

We have all been taught to look for “doors of opportunity”, you know “when one door closes another will open”. Some of us have tried crawling through windows, picking the lock and even breaking down the door when we want to get through.  Others have stood in dismay when a long standing door closes and shuts off a huge part of their life.

Here is a new question – what if we are looking at a door that really isn’t a door at all?  What if it is just a “painted door”.  Not a door that is painted . . . a wall that is painted to “look” like a door.  What if that painted door is so well done that everyone tries going through only to be embarrassed to find that it is just a painting and not a real door?  Paintings can be deceptive if they are really done well.  3D paintings can even be more tricky.

Are you attracted to a certain door because of how it is painted?  Are you avoiding other doors because they are chipped and peeling?  Are you avoiding heavy doors that are hard to open?  Are you looking for fancy doors or automatic doors?

As you look down the hallway of life, make sure the doors you approach are real.  Make sure to listen to God’s whisper in which door to go through.  Just because a door is fancy doesn’t mean that it is right.

Remember, it may not be a door at all . . .

Revelation 3:20

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

What’s the worst thing that can happen?

One of my catch phrases in business and life is “what’s the worst thing that can happen?”  I am dealt many hard scenarios to battle through in business.  When I have a challenge to work through, I give myself perspective by looking at the worst outcome possible and then building from there.

Here is a really simple example:  Today I was driving on a busy highway and I was in the wrong lane to exit off.  The worst case option would be to hit someone and cause an accident.  The next option would be to stay in the lane and get off at the next exit and circle back.  This isn’t a great option but it is far better than the 1st one.  Again, it’s all about perspective.

What are you facing today that has you down and worried?  What is the absolute worst (WORST) thing that can happen?  Ok, now take a deep breath.  That worst thing probably won’t happen . . .so start moving up the list.  What will happen probably won’t be the end of the world and it will resolve in some way.

Have faith.  Have hope.  Have patience.  Know that God will be glorified and that a little bit of light will shine down on you while you walk through it.

Psalm 41All my enemies whisper together against me;
    they imagine the worst for me, saying,
“A vile disease has afflicted him;
    he will never get up from the place where he lies.”

Isaiah 51:6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
    look at the earth beneath;
the heavens will vanish like smoke,
    the earth will wear out like a garment
    and its inhabitants die like flies.
But my salvation will last forever,
    my righteousness will never fail.

world fell apart

Miracles, Love and Redemption

I had to post this because it touched me so much.  When I first saw the news, it literally brought me to tears and shouts of joy at the same time.  Our God wraps His arms around us daily. . . sometimes with great miracles as a result!

Ruth 4:4  “I will redeem it”

Reflections of Life Photography's photo.
'I asked each of them the question... "You're going to be a family! What are some of the best things about that?!"'
'...And here are the answers. :)'
Reflections of Life Photography's photo.
Reflections of Life Photography added 18 new photos from April 23 to the album:Jamie & Janelle (and family!) — with Ann Rodriquez and 4 others.

Today’s post is one of redemption and of hope. One that reminds us that God cares about us and walks with us each step of the way.

Just over three years ago Janelle’s husband Joel was killed unexpectedly while their family was living in the Middle East. The path that Janelle and her two young sons’ lives were on was dramatically altered. How does one move forward after something this huge, something this heartbreaking? I think Janelle would say one day, one moment at a time, with God’s help. There is nothing simple or quick about grief.

Enter a mother-in-law who loves Janelle and her boys very deeply, and a friend who does as well…a friend who knows a great guy who is single and wholeheartedly seeking what God has for his life. Enter the Holy Spirit, Who knows better than any of us what ‘the right timing’ looks like in our lives. And lo and behold, ‘God is Gracious (the meaning of Janelle’s name)’ meets ‘Supplanter; One Who Takes the Place of Another (the meaning of Jamie’s name).’ And what the enemy intended for evil is turned into something beautiful. Do we miss Joel, and does it still hurt that he’s in Heaven before us? Of course. Are we thrilled for Jamie and Janelle and the incredible gift that they’ve found in each other? For the amazing bond that the boys have built with Jamie in such a short time? One hundred percent.

And so you see, as that friend who had the privilege to introduce Jamie and Janelle to each other, and to experience from a front row seat how deeply God reaches into our hurt and struggles and walks with us through the pain and joys of this life on earth; how incomprehensibly He loves us and cares for our hearts, I am thrilled beyond words at the privilege of presenting you with engagement pictures of this precious couple; pictures of the family that will be official in August. A song that has come to mind time and time again is Michael W. Smith’s Sovereign Over Us.

Even what the enemy means for evil
You turn it for our good
You turn it for our good and for Your glory
Even in the valley, You are faithful
You’re working for our good
You’re working for our good and for Your glory
You’re faithful forever
Perfect in love
You are sovereign over us

Jamie and Janelle, my heart smiles big. I am grateful. May you be continually blessed as you build this new life together!

On the other side of Planned Parenthood

Besides writing about my son’s suicide, this may be the hardest article that I’ve written.  I am an avid pro-lifer and I have stood against Planned Parenthood ever since I was in 8th grade and a PP rep laughed at a boy who raised a question about condoms being too big to fit him.  Yes – true story – To be fair, her answer (after snickering) was “if it is too big, you don’t need one”.  This sophisticated answer came from an organization attempting to stop unwanted pregnancy and sexual disease.

I am not writing today about body parts and selling them for research.  I am writing for the silent hurting women who may have had an abortion because they felt like it was their only option.  I’m writing to women who may have been deceived by PP or another provider not knowing the affect to themselves.  I’ve been told rather boldly that I can’t comment on abortion because I don’t have a uterus.  I also haven’t had my legs amputated but I can have empathy for those who have.  And, by the way, don’t comment on teen suicide or adoption or separation disorder unless your child has died from it.  Get my point?

I am not a woman but I am a father and grandfather.  I can’t imagine the fear, anxiety and angst of a woman who finds herself pregnant at the worst time of her life.  As joyful as a planned pregnancy is, an unplanned unwanted pregnancy must be beyond words of description.  Don’t pull the hate card at this point.  You can blame all you want for sex outside of marriage, promiscuity, sin etc.  We have all sinned and fallen short . . .  but all sins don’t carry a lifelong change with decisions that are at the top of life’s pyramid.

The bottom line is: a woman has three choices – keep the baby and deal with a life of consequences, adopt the baby and deal with a life of consequences, abort and deal with a life of consequences.  The first choice will be evident for the rest of her life – “how old were you when you had him?”.  The second choice will be evident for approximately six or seven months (when I was a teen, pregnant girls disappeared for a school year and then magically came back from never never land and didn’t talk about where they were).  The third option is not evident to anyone but the woman.  Our society doesn’t brand women with an abortion tattoo.  You may be sitting in your office now spewing opinion about PP and abortion while the woman sitting right beside you may have had an abortion and never confessed it you.  And why would she?  I don’t believe any woman is proud of this decision and most I assume struggle with it to some degree and don’t go around telling the world about it.

Imagine for a moment being that woman.  She wakes everyday knowing what she did.  Whether she affirms it or not, she has to deal with it.  She hears the news just like we all do.  She sees the images.  She hears of the gruesome procedure and the sale of body parts.  How is she supposed to act?  How is she supposed to feel?  How is she to grieve, confess, share?  How does she enter into a church discussion or lunch talk knowing her side of the story?  A co-worker recently said in front of me “that celebrity committed suicide, he just went to hell”.   I nearly exploded!  I chose to go in the bathroom and calm down rather than tear them apart.

In my lifetime, I have had a total of two women admit to me that they had abortions.  Not only do we not require women to where the abortion tattoo, we also don’t expect the woman beside us at work, church or school to openly talk about having one.  Since we don’t know about it, we make the assumption that no one has had one.   It is a secret on both sides.  The women don’t want to talk about it and we don’t really want to hear about it.  By not hearing about it, we don’t need to hear the personal side of it.  We don’t need to hear the pain and agony and sorrow because that’s when it really gets messy.  That’s when we put a face on the decision.  That’s when it’s no longer a news story or demonstration and it becomes a friend or loved one who may still be suffering.

I will continue to post against PP.  I will continue to ask our government leaders to de-fund them.  I am still a advocate for adoption and I will help to support a young mom who chooses to keep her child.  But . . .I will be sensitive to the hurts of those who chose an option that I don’t support – right or wrong those women are still children of God and need to be loved and forgiven.  Their actions are NOT worse than mine and they need the love of Jesus just as much.  For those women, I pray for peace and forgiveness and the grace to share with other young women who may be facing this difficult time.


Mark 11: 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”