I Had The Good Samaritan Parable Backwards

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If you were raised in a Christian home like me, you probably heard the story of the Good Samaritan 100 times. Last week, our Pastor Christian Andrews started a sermon series that kicked off with the story of the Good Samaritan. Just in case you forgot the specifics of the story, here they are, as found in the Gospel of Luke (NIV):

25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Who Are You In This Story?

When I heard the story of the Good Samaritan in the past, I always saw myself in the role of the Good Samaritan. I interpreted the story as a reminder to help others. I looked at the story as a parable that illustrates how we must show Christ’s love to others, even when it was not convenient or if it has a cost.

Did you see yourself in the story in the same way as I did?

However, when Pastor Christian Andrews shared this story at Park Church last Sunday, it was different. He said that as Christians, we are also like the man who was beaten, robbed, and lying on the road half-dead. The man had no ability to save himself. Without the help of the Good Samaritan, the man would have surely died.

Then it hit me. I was the man lying on the road in need.  

Jesus saved me and paid my debt with his life. For the first time, I saw myself as the man on the road. I would have surely died if Jesus didn’t come to me and save me.

How Did I Get It Wrong?

Pride.  I have always been a hard worker and someone who wants to fix things. I have had times in my life of great success. I have also recovered from a time when I lost everything. I try to make the best of things and stay positive despite adversity.

I also try to help others and to be generous, like the Good Samaritan. I have been blessed with a great family and circle of friends.

But in need? That’s where my weakness is. I don’t like to feel that I am in need of help. I like to be self-sufficient. Maybe a few readers can identify with this perspective.

But last week, when Christian shared the story, I couldn’t help but ask God for forgiveness for my pride. I didn’t want to see myself as the person on the side of the road. Accepting that image would mean that I would have to acknowledge my utter need for God’s help in ALL that I do.

You see, even though I accepted Christ into my life 35+ years ago, I needed to be reminded that my own strength is insufficient to save me or sustain me. Each day that we forget this truth, we are like the man, left to die along the roadside, we miss an opportunity to reconnect with the love of God.

Thank you Christian for opening my eyes to look at this parable in a new light. Thank you Jesus for being the Good Samaritan and paying my debt.

If you live in the Monmouth County area, join me at Park Church for this exciting new series.  Here is a quick overview:


Christians Should Not Have To Go To Church On Easter

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That’s right. If you are a Christian, you should not HAVE TO GO to church on Easter Sunday. Are you feeling the annual holiday guilt trip? Which scenario best describes your Christian dilemma?

I have to go to church on Easter Sunday because…..

  1. my parents would be disappointed if I didn’t attend.
  2. my spouse really wants me to go.
  3. my children should have some religion in their lives.
  4. I missed Christmas service so I need to go at least once a year.
  5. its a tradition since I was a child.
  6. if I go on Easter and take communion my sins will be forgiven.

So, if these apply to your situation, I have some great news for you. You shouldn’t have to go to church on Easter Sunday if you don’t want to. Stay home and remove those feelings of guilt. Maybe it is time to give up on calling yourself a Christian….maybe the flame has burned out?

Easter Is Special

The good news of the Easter season is that Jesus died for people that didn’t ask to be redeemed. He died for people who were “burned out” from “religious” traditions. Jesus died for people who were going through the paces of religion for their family. He died to become a focal point of people’s lives more than once a year.

If you are attending a worship service on Easter Sunday:

  • you should WANT to be in church on Sunday.
  • you should WANT to thank Jesus for dying on the cross.
  • you should WANT to thank him for his gift of salvation.
  • you should WANT to proclaim and affirm your faith.

How will you arrive at church this Sunday?

Will you WANT to attend or will you HAVE to be there?

The later experience will lack the joy of the Easter season.

All I ask is that you pray to Jesus that he will restore your faith or for the first time, reveal Himself to you in a new way.

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Join Me on Sunday

Join me on Easter Sunday at Park Church in Tinton Falls, NJ. I will be attending the 9:30 am service, and I would love to sit with you. Drop me an email if you can join me: The church is located just a few minutes from the Monmouth Mall, near Exit 105 on the Garden State Parkway. Here are easy to follow directions.

Park Church is an amazing place to worship; come as you are. Families with children will be glad to know that the church offers classes on Sunday for children of all ages, so bring the family to church on Sunday. If you love music, you will love the singing and church band. So join me this Sunday and let’s celebrate our faith together.

Happy Easter everyone!



When Attacked How Do You React?

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Today at Park Church in Tinton Falls, New Jersey our Pastor kicked off a series entitled “Look Again; the art of seeing Jesus.” The six part series looks at six famous paintings that depict different aspects of the life of Jesus. The first painting in this series is called “The Taking of Christ” and was painted by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio.

The artist captures the scene that was described in Matthew 26: 47-56 and I have included that passage below:

While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; seize him.” 49 And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him. 50 Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.” Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him. 51 And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” 55 At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. 56 But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left him and fled.

Look at The Hands of Jesus

hands-prayingWhat hit me the most from today’s sermon was the pastor’s remarks about Jesus’ hands. In the painting you can see that Jesus is not resisting the arrest. He is not trying to defend himself against the angry mob. His hands are clasped together as if in prayer; Jesus sees the bigger picture for his life and does not let the moment overwhelm him.

Jesus could have reacted in self-interest when his friend Judas betrayed him. Jesus reprimanded one of his followers, who drew a sword to cut off the ear of a servant. Jesus said that he could have called twelve legions of angels to his defense. He was claiming that 72,000 angels would have appeared at his command but he didn’t react that way.

Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?

With all his power he did not react to the mob like you and I might have reacted. Jesus knew that what looked like a temporary win for evil would be the true downfall of evil. He knew that evil would never win against the goodness of God.

His disciples ran from the scene, as depicted by the man in the olive green shirt on the left side of the painting.  The disciples lost their focus and thought that evil had won.  The following day Jesus died on the cross. Three days later, on Easter Sunday he rose from the dead.

I Missed That Message

Having read the above passage in Matthew, hundreds of times, I must admit that I missed the single-mindedness of Jesus at that moment. Caravaggio didn’t miss that fact! He beautifully portrayed the scene described in Mathew Chapter 26 in his painting.

Sometimes it can feel that evil has the upper hand in this world. If you watch the evening news it can be easy to forget that good will overcome evil. You may be under persecution right now from family, friends, or evildoers and may be losing hope. The good news is there is hope. Take a minute to look how Jesus reacted when he was attacked.

According to Caravaggio’s vision of that day, Jesus held his hands together. Jesus knew who was ultimately in charge of the immediate scene. The painting “The Taking of Christ” is a great reminder for us today:

When we are under attack it’s time to pray and let God take control on the scene.

If you are a follower of Jesus, you can take great comfort is his sacrifice. You can learn from his example when he was unfairly attacked, accused, and punished. It’s time for you to “look again” at the example of Jesus.

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Join Me at Park Church

If you enjoyed this post then you will really enjoy the six-week sermon series that just started today. There are five more messages in the series and I hope you will be compelled to hear them. Park Church has two services every Sunday and there are three services schedule for Easter Sunday.

For more information visit: or call 732.530.7737


Pasch Family Tree From Germany

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I am researching my Pasch family roots from Germany and could use the help of anyone with additional information on the members of the family tree that I have logged on  Here is a brief summary of the people I would like to know more about:

Wilhelm and Auguste Pasch – Arrived NYC in 1872, they were 49 and 45 respectively.

Wilhelm was born in 1823 and his father was from Baden, Germany.

Auguste (Augusta) was born 1827 and her father was from Baden, Germany.

I do not know her maiden name, and I would love to get that on the Pasch family tree.

Wilhelm and Auguste has six children:

  •             Hermann 1849
  •             Caroline “Lena” 1852
  •             Mine Pasch 1857
  •             Frederick (Fritz) Pasch 1860  (My great grandfather) 
  •             William G. Pasch – 1863
  •             Johanna Pasch 1866

I would love to know more about Wilhelm and Auguste Pasch who brought their family over on May 11, 1872 on a ship from Hamburg.

Who their children married:

  • Herman Pasch married Amelia Bollenbacker and had 9 children
  • Caroline “Lena” married Johan G. Rilling and had 6 children
  • Frederick “Fritz” married Sarah Sweeney and had 3 children (my grandfather was one of the three)
  • William married Minnie Pascoe and had 1 child
  • Johanna married David C. Allen and had 7 children

I am using and would appreciate any help with more details on six children of Wilhelm and Auguste Pasch who lived in New Jersey and more specifically in the North Plainfield area.


Cell: 732.672.2356

dealer-vw-approved Joins List of VW Certified Website Providers

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What an active day for automotive marketing news. Volkswagen dealers now have multiple choices for their automotive website platforms.’s seamless website platform is now a choice for Volkswagen franchise dealers in the United States.

This gives Volkswagen dealers access to’s award winning integrated online advertising software and website analytics.

This is great news for Volkswagen dealers as more choices for technology and support for their online efforts are endorsed by Volkswagen. Dealers have a limited window of time to contact to sign-up for their award winning technology. has been a top performer in the annual Automotive Website Awards (AWA) rankings and their technology continues to improve each year. I recently had the opportunity to see their latest website enhancements and the only word that comes to mind is “WOW.”


Dealers who are shopping for website providers are well advised to purchase a copy of the 2015 AWA Research and Buyers Guide. Pre-orders are now available on the AWA website.

This year’s book will be over 300 pages of detailed reviews for websites, CRM platforms, marketing technology, and merchandising tools used by car dealers in the United States, Canada, and in the EU.

The annual AWA Awards ceremony will be held on Thursday evening, January 22nd in San Francisco. Tickets for the awards ceremony are available online.