Category: Uncategorized

Customized Cakes and Persecution

The name Jack Phillips may or may not be familiar to you. He has been prominently in the news in the past and is back in again. I’m pretty sure he would rather not be there at all. Here’s a bit of his story…

In 1993 Jack opened Masterpiece Cakeshop as a family business in Lakewood, Colorado. He served his community well for over 20 years. In July 2012, two men came into his business requesting a custom cake to celebrate their same sex marriage. Jack politely declined, offering to sell them anything in his shop or to design them a cake for other occasions. Shortly after that, he began receiving threatening phone calls. In December 2013, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruled against Jack, ordering him to either begin making cakes for same sex marriages or stop making wedding cakes. That was 40% of his business. The commission also ordered him to “reeducate” his staff, teaching them that he was wrong to operate his business by refusing to do cakes for same sex marriage, based on his religious faith. In addition, he was ordered to file quarterly reports to the commission reporting any declines to do cakes and why.

In July 2016, Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court on Jack’s behalf. On June 4, 2018, The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in favor of Jack, reversing the Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruling against him. However, that’s not the end of the story…

Jack has continued to receive requests to make provocative custom cakes that are obviously against his religious convictions. Recently, the commission tried to force him to bake a cake celebrating a “gender transition” for a homosexual man who was “becoming” a woman. Jack has found himself back to suing the state of Colorado to maintain his right to act based on his religious faith.

Make no mistake about it, this is not about hating or wrongly discriminating against a group of people. It is about whether a person can operate based on long standing religious principles. It is about the exercise of religious freedom.

In a democratic republic, where the government is of, for, and by the people, we have the responsibility as citizens to do what we can to preserve our freedoms. That includes praying, being informed, speaking out in an intelligent and kind way, and voting.  “…Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand more.”  Luke 12: 48b (ESV)  In Jesus’ day, the government was an authoritarian one, which didn’t allow that kind of participation.

However, having said that, as followers of Jesus, we must remember His words that still resonate today.  “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation.  But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33 (ESV)

Persecution has been a part of following Jesus for the last 2000 plus years!  Here in the United States we have taken for granted the freedoms we enjoy, and have not had to suffer for Christ like many others through the years.  That may be changing.  I don’t know what is coming, but I do know that we should not be surprised by any persecution we are called on to endure.  Jack Phillips is being persecuted, but is not exhibiting hate toward his persecutors.  Although he is rightly pursuing his constitutional right to legally defend himself, he is, at the same time, conducting himself in a Christ like manner while being wrongly treated.

May we, who follow Jesus, take a lesson from this story!  May we be willing to live a life that honors Christ, even if it does bring persecution!

Even If You Don’t Like Football!!!

Football season is upon us and the fans are getting excited! Soon the favorite college teams will be playing and the professional teams will be dominating the Sunday afternoons and evenings. (Not to mention Monday and Thursday evenings!)

The game of football is, in many ways, a metaphor for life. There is one particular way that I am constantly reminded of, one that everyone can understand, even if they don’t follow football. It is this. The duration of the football game is a limited 60 minutes, broken into four fifteen minute quarters. Life is similar…

According to the World Bank, the average life expectancy in the U.S. is 78.74 years. Divided into four quarters, we have 19.685 years in each quarter of life. For discussion sake, let’s just say we have four quarters of 20 years. Which quarter are you in currently?

A 40 year old is entering their third quarter of life! A 60 year old is now in their fourth quarter!

Obviously, no one knows how long they will live! Many die in the first quarter of life. However, this is a great way to keep life in perspective, understanding, of course, that there is no guarantee of 80 years!

How do Christ followers respond to this extremely realistic perspective? The Word of God gives the answer in several places!

Moses wrote this prayer in Psalm 90:10-12 “As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, or if due to strength, eighty years, yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; for soon it is gone and we fly away. Who understands the power of Your anger and Your fury, according to the fear that is due Your name? So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.”
In this prayer, we are reminded of…
>The limited length of our life. 70-80 years
>The struggle of our life. “labor and sorrow”
>The wrath of God against sin, which causes our struggle,
and the opportunity to fear, or reverence God.
>The petition we need to make… Lord “teach us to number
our days, so that we may present to YOU a heart of

The Apostle Paul wrote this in Ephesians 5:15-18. “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise. making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.”
In these words the Apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, admonishes us to…
>“Walk” or live our lives wisely, based on God’s plan.
>Maximize the opportunity God graciously gave us. “Time”
in this verse means a specific period of time or season,
literally, our lifetime.
>Avoid foolishness, which is opposite of knowing God’s will.
(God’s will is clearly spelled out in His Word!)
>Avoid being under the influence of anything other than
the Holy Spirit! That happens as we yield to, are obedient
to the will of God through the enabling power of the Holy

Whether you are in the first quarter or the fourth, as I am, you can begin today to live in a way as described above!

Even if you don’t like football!!