Pearl's Paradise

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled teams yearning to breath free…"

April 4, 2012
by Steve Pearl

Learning about Love, One Day at a Time

Recently I was prompted to go back and look for resources that would help me do an extended study on the subject of "Love."  We all think we know what love is, right?  It's that gooey, warm feeling you get when you meet someone you think is your "soul" mate and then you start to plan your life together.


The infatuation that comes with that first meeting, that "love at first sight" encounter, is nothing but a passing fancy.  The first time you hit a speed bump you realize all is not well and perhaps, just perhaps, your "soul mate" really isn't all that and a bag of chips.

Perhaps you survive the speed bump.  Things get back on track and you move forward.  So you stop worrying about it and life gets back to "normal," whatever "normal" represents for you and yours.  Of course "normal" might not mean "healthy" and there might just be festering yuckiness lurking under the covers of your relationship.

Then you hit a bigger speed bump.  

This time it's a whopper.  You hit the wall at warp speed and this time things get really bitter, really fast.

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January 23, 2011
by Steve Pearl

It All Starts With a Good Mirror

Romans 3:9-18 (New International Version, ©2010)

9 What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. 10 As it is written:

“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”
13 “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.”  “The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 ruin and misery mark their ways,
17 and the way of peace they do not know.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

John 8:7 (New International Version, ©2010)

7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

I don't know how or why I acquired this character trait – some would call it a "flaw" – but I am a critic at heart.  Restaurants.  Movies.  Music.  Preaching.  Leadership.  Community planning.  Politics.  Finance.  Marketing.  You name it, I've probably criticized it.

Then again, who of us isn't a critic?  We live in a world where we are told that our opinion matters and that we are afforded the right to trumpet that opinion as loudly as possible.  We can say pretty much whatever we wish these days and get away with it.  We trumpet that notion of entitlement under the guise of "free speech" as if we never need to think twice about who or what we are criticizing, never concerned about the potential to lay unjustified waste to someone's character.

Those who know me best know that at times I can indeed share my opinion a little too quickly.  Not one of my most endearing qualities.

That's the bad news.

Now for the good news.

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July 12, 2010
by Steve Pearl

Two Little Words with the Power to Hurt or Heal

Matthew 18:21-22 (New International Version)

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?"  22 Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

Today we ponder the power of words. 

No, I'm not talking about great works of literature.  Even as we approach the 50th anniversary of the publication of Harper Lee's ground-breaking, "To Kill a Mockingbird," I thought it was time to get a little more elemental, to dig deeper into the underlying meaning and power of smaller, more discrete building blocks of language.

Today, we consider two, inconsequential, three-letter words and the ways in which their placement in a sentence can either destroy a shaky relationship or heal a longstanding rift.

Today, we consider the sublime importance of those tiny, building-block words "did" and "you."

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June 7, 2010
by Steve Pearl

Before I Dumped facebook, I Paused…

As promised, I dumped facebook first thing Monday morning.  Before I did, though, I paused.  I went back and gave a long, hard look at the list of "friends" I had accumulated during my time on facebook.  The sad truth is that with very, very few exceptions I will miss being a part of that rich social network.

But there are exceptions.  No, I won't "out" people here, running around like some petulant child shouting, "You're not my friend!"  I will, however, share a confession that might shock some of you.  You might find yourself in the same boat and be as afraid to admit the truth as was I.

Merely being on facebook made me feel a degree of subtle peer pressure with that whole "friend" thing.  I felt almost compelled to accept some folks as "friends" even though I really didn't know them well enough to call them "friends" in the classic sense.  I mean…  It's not like I ever chowed down over beef barbecue and corn on the cob with them, you know what I mean?

That's my problem with facebook.

Who is a "friend," really?

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April 13, 2009
by Steve Pearl

Packing the Dishwasher

Welcome to the age of obsession.  Everywhere you turn, it seems people are obsessed with something.

Cell phones.  Gadgets.  Clothes.  Food.  Computers.  Costco.

(Okay, that last one is a personal downfall.)

Take cars, for example.  There is this guy in our neighborhood who can only be described as an unrepentant “car junkie.”  This guy’s car gleams.  It is truly radiant.  On sunny days his gold luxo-mobile reflects the sun’s rays like one of those mirrors they use to gather solar power out in the Mohave desert.  Reports are that neighborhood children have been blinded by an errant glint off the high polish finish.

I, on the other hand, qualify more in the category of " car tolerant."

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