Friday, September 21, 2018

The Pit

John VanHouten Illustration

A man fell into a pit and couldn’t get himself out.

subjective  person came  along  and  said, “I  feel  for  you, down there.”

An objective  person came  along  and  said, “It’s  logical  that someone would fall down there.”

Pharisee  said, “Only bad people fall into a pit.”

mathematician calculated how he fell into the pit.

A news  reporter  wanted  the  exclusive  story  on  his  pit.

fundamentalist  said, “You deserve it.”

An  I.R.S. man asked if he was paying his taxes on the pit.

self-pity  person  said,  “You  haven’t  seen  anything  until you’ve seen  my  pit.”

An  optimist  said, “Things will get better.”

pessimist said, “Things will get worse.”

Jesus, seeing the man, took him by the hand and lifted him out  of the pit.

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Meet the Doctor From Asia’s Most Infamous Sex Scandal

Dr Hayden Kho

A simple social media post containing a Bible verse triggered quite an avalanche of criticism, and with it, a reminder of God’s gracious gift of forgiveness for those who call on him.

The verse was 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

The person who posted the verse was Dr. Hayden Kho - and that explains some of the critical responses.

Meggie Sy’s response on Instagram represented most of the criticism: “This coming from you is a joke.”

To understand the critique you have to know something about Dr. Hayden Kho, a celebrity in the Philippines but not very well known in the West.

Kho went to Christian schools but was a self-avowed atheist. He is a plastic surgeon to the stars who worked in the Philippines’ largest cosmetic surgery business. He became famous as a television actor, earning the moniker “Doctor Hunk” for his stunning good looks.

But in 2008, his idyllic life disintegrated. He was embroiled in a series of sex videos of himself with other local and foreign celebrities. The videos showed up on the Internet without his knowledge and consent.

He was tried publicly on national television as part of a senate hearing. He was also taken to court in both criminal and civil cases. His case was dubbed the most controversial sex scandal in Asia.

The Professional Regulation Commission deemed Kho “immoral” and unfit to practice medicine and stripped him of his license to practice in 2012. The fall was great and Kho turned to drugs and alcohol to ease the pain…and finally to attempt suicide, twice.

“When the (sex) scandal happened, it was like being caught in a flood,” said Kho. “Every problem that came my way before was like a downpour. Since I’ve been underwater for so long, what was another downpour? But when they took away my license…it was a totally different experience.”

In the scandal’s aftermath, Kho said, “I lost my name and my so-called friends.” No one came to his defense.


Instead, he went in search of answers. The journey took him to a private talk by Ravi Zacharias in Manila. Kho’s friend Dioceldo Sy, owner of Ever Bilena cosmetics, had an extra ticket to Zacharias’ talk that night.

Having read Zacharias’ book Has Christianity Failed You? as part of his research before choosing to become an atheist years ago, Kho also knew the author’s background as an engaging writer and leading Christian apologist.

Soon after Zacharias’ talk about the truth behind the Gospels, Kho’s hand was the first to be raised with a question.

“I asked a question that soon turned into a confession,” Kho said. As Zacharias recalled, Kho said that he was “living with pain, shame and guilt.”

“Tears were running down his face,” said Zacharias. “He began by asking me what meaning can he find in life. That was where the dialogue between us began.”

Zacharias had no idea who Kho was and didn’t know his story. He told his staff later that Kho looked like a man made for the movies and yet he was talking about life’s meaninglessness.

Zacharias is fond of quoting a line from theologian G.K. Chesterton; “Meaninglessness doesn’t come from being weary of pain. Rather, it comes from being weary of pleasure.” Kho personified that insight.

Friday, August 03, 2018


Too often we think some special people are simply grateful and upbeat. But here’s the good news: All of us can become grateful. Every morning we can say, “Thank you, God, for a new day.” That’s a beginning.

Thanking God for the things we take for granted enables us to develop an attitude of gratitude. Who am I to deserve to have a car? Own a home? Millions of people in war-ravaged countries or drought-stricken areas would feel as if life had given them a tremendous blessing if they had only enough to eat each day. That attitude begins with the simple acknowledgment of what we have - even if friends have more.

I thought of the apostle Paul in prison - which was far worse than modern-day places of incarceration. “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want” (Philippians 4:11 - 12).

The more we cultivate that positive attitude, the more we realize that we’re not entitled to anything. Everything we enjoy is a gift.

I‘ve learned to start each morning by thanking God for the special people in my life - family members and friends, as well as social and business relationships. From there, I give thanks for the people in my past - anyone who nudged me or guided me to becoming a stronger, wiser, and healthier person. The list goes on and continues to grow. And the more it grows, the happier I am.


Tuesday, March 06, 2018

The Right Age

“I’m too old for that,” my 53-year-old friend said.

I regularly hear such comments from those who have hit the big zero years (50, 60, 70). Once-attractive women complain, “When women reach a certain age, men ignore them.” When I hear that, I think, so what? Do you need approving stares to be happy?

I’m tired of hearing friends cringe at the mention of aging. I have no desire to be 30 or 60 again and am grateful for the years behind me.

Just because we reach “a certain age” doesn’t mean we stop living or enjoying life. Instead, we have an opportunity to add to our lives, to explore new ideas, and take pleasurable risks.

This year I turned 85, and I’m delighted to admit it. Here are a few things I say about my age:
"I've earned every wrinkle and creak in my body."
"This is the cost of living longer."
"I'm happy being who I am right now."
"This is exactly the right age for me."

Getting older isn’t only a downhill slide; we can always find positives. No matter how dismal life seems, we can choose to stay positive.

For example, my faith has grown stronger and my attachment to others is deeper. I’m free to say no. The older I get, the more I know the relationships I want to maintain and those I want to let go.

Regardless of the number of my years, I’m exactly the right age to increase my joy and appreciate all the goodness of life. I relish the freedom and the joy of life instead of thinking how terrible it is to get old. I regularly say to myself, “This is the life I’ve been preparing to live. Now I’ll enjoy it.”

What about you and your age? Can you say these words below?

by Cecil Murphey – Writer, Teacher, Speaker, Abuse Survivor