Archive for August 25, 2014

Church overcomes sobering resistance

Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute

By Brad Dacus

President, Pacific Justice Institute

I’m excited to tell you about a church we have been helping recently … and a terrific outcome on their behalf.

The Holy Resurrection Romanian Orthodox Church in the Sacramento area had struggled for 11 years to find a place of its own to worship. They found what seemed like the perfect spot, in the Rio Linda area, with a building that had already been approved as a worship center with seating for a larger congregation.

They moved ahead with their plans … until they encountered some unusual local opposition. At PJI, we’ve been representing churches just like this one for many years, so opposition is nothing new to us – but the excuses being given to stop the church were some of the most illogical and unreasonable we’ve ever heard.

In short, an establishment next to the church property had a liquor license. They acknowledged that they were such bad neighbors in terms of traffic, parking, late-night noise and drunken patrons that they didn’t think a church next door would fit into their neighborhood. (Now is it just me, or does this sound like exactly the place where Jesus would want to minister to people desperately in need of healing and hope?!)

Sadly, some also complained that they thought there were already too many churches in the area.

Since PJI has represented and advised countless churches in similar situations and won some important precedents in this area, we helped this church present an appeal to the Planning Commission. It was sobering to hear some of these believers note similarities between the hostility they were experiencing right here in America with the persecution they had fled in Romania.

PJI Attorney, Kevin Snider, wrote to the Commission and spoke at a hearing on behalf of the church. We are thankful to God that the Planning Commission recognized the illegal basis of the opposition and voted 5-0 to approve the church’s plans. Members of the Commission specifically thanked Kevin for his helpful explanation of the law in this area.

It’s possible there may be further opposition and appeals we will need to counter, so stay tuned. In the meantime, if you know of a pastor or church that is even thinking about building, leasing, buying property, expanding, or anything similar that might require local permits, please let them know that Pacific Justice Institute would be honored to work with them at no charge to advance their important work. Oftentimes, we can help churches avoid major problems much more easily when we are involved right from the start.

Thanks to each of you who make our work possible!

Running the race …

This week’s homily

Tom and Virginia Boles

By Thomas M. Boles Phd., DMin., D.D.

In her book, “A Closer Walk,” author Catherine Marshall tells about a

great personal struggle she experienced after writing a novel

titled “Gloria.” Marshall began the novel in 1969 and then abandoned

the project two-and-a-half years later.

To her, the shelved manuscript was

“like a death in the family.”

In attempting to reconcile her conflicting thoughts and

feelings, Marshall spent time at a retreat house in Florida. While

there, she re-read a Bible story from Numbers about a time

when poisonous snakes filled the Israelite camp.

The people recognized the snakes as a punishment for their sin, and cried out in repentance.

The Lord told Moses to “make a (bronze) snake and put it up on a

pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” (Numbers 21:9.)

Marshall realized that just as the Israelites took that which had

hurt them, lifted it up to God, and were healed, so we each can take

our mistakes and sons, lift them to God in prayer, and trust Him

to heal us.

She writes, “When any one of us has made a wrong (or

even doubtful) turning in our lives through arrogance or lack of trust

or impatience or fear, God will show us a way out.” Even when we

stray, He knows both where we are and how to get us back on His


Decisions can take you out of God’s will but never out

of His reach.

If we are faithless, He will remain

faithful, for he cannot disown himself.

2 Timothy 2:13

‘Fore’ golf and networking

Like to golf? Enjoy networking? Then the Whittier Area Chamber of Commerce has the perfect event for you.

Break out your clubs and head to the 36th annual Hathaway Golf Classic golf tournament and networking mixer on Monday, Sept. 8, 2014 at Friendly Hills Country Club. With only 144 spots available, potential duffers need to register by Sept. 1.

There are a variety of opportunities available. Eagle sponsors for $1,350 get a tournament package that includes four golfers, a cart, lunch, dinner, acknowledgement at the dinner and a Business Focus photo feature, tee sign and recognition in the tournament program. The Ultimate Golf Package for $285 includes one golfer, a cart, lunch, dinner and a tournament package. People who just want to golf for $225 include one golfer, cart, lunch and dinner. Tee sponsors for $100 get their company name on a tee sign and recognition in the tournament program.

The popular event also features a “19th hole mixer,” a $2,000 helicopter ball drop, raffle items and door prizes.

A variety of local businesses are sponsoring the event, including Rose Hills Memorial Park & Mortuary, California Domestic Water Company, the Credit Union of Southern California, the Quad at Whittier and PIH Health.

To register send a check payable to the Whittier Area Chamber of Commerce at 8158 Painter Ave., Whittier, CA 90602 or go online at

Call 562-698-9554 for more information.



This week’s homily

Tom and Virginia Boles

By Thomas M. Boles PhD., DMin., D.D.

A comic strip created by Charles Schulz addresses the

need for each of us to make the most of the immediate presentin our lives.

Charlie Brown is  seen at bat. STRIKE THREE. He has

struck out again and slumps down on the players’ bench. He

says, “Rats! I’ll never be a big-league player. I just don’t have

it! All my life I’ve dreamed of playing in the big leagues, but

I know I’ll never make it.”

Lucy turns to console him. “Charlie Brown,” she says,

“you’re thinking too far ahead. What you need to do is set your-

self more immediate goals.”

Charlie Brown looks up and asks, “Immediate goals?”

Lucy responds, “Yes. Start with this next inning when

you go out to pitch. See if you can walk out to the mound with-

out falling down.”

The first step toward walking into any future is the step

that you take today. Make it a forward, positive, springy and

light-hearted, energetic, well-aimed, purposeful step. The steps

you take today become the well-warn path of tomorrow.

The only preparation for

tomorrow is the right

use of today.

Take therefore no thought for the morrow:

for the morrow shall take thought for the

things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is

the evil thereof.

Matthew 6:34