For Every Question, There is the SAME Answer!

Written on July 6, 2024.  Posted on that date at 11:32am.

Have you ever read the “Book of Job?”  If not, here is one brief summary of the book.

Job is presented as such a good man that God boasts about him in a conversation with Satan. Satan is then given permission to test how faithful Job would be if he had to endure loss, grief, and pain. Job’s friends come to bring comfort to Job, but fail miserably. After an extended series of dialogues between Job and four friends, God speaks and Job’s good fortunes return. Questions about why good people like Job suffer are left unanswered, but Job’s relationship with God is renewed. 

Quick How I Became A Christian

In 1985, I was a freshman at the University of the Pacific – Conservatory of Music in Stockton, CA.  I was a music education major.  

My friend from my rival high school (Pacific Grove High School) was in the orchestra.  Her name was Jennifer. Jennifer was a very quiet.  Introverted girl. 

Well, all of the sudden Jennifer (very quiet / introverted girl) started to give away her music and some of her clothes.  The reason she was doing this was because she was attending meetings led by a campus group, Chi Alpha.  The leader of that group had convinced the students that this music and clothes were demonic and they needed to get rid of them.  Jennifer did that.  Also, she start to write Bible scripture on hearts.  She then taped those hearts around her dorm room and out into the the hallway.  She wanted to share this new love for Jesus with all the people in the dorm.  

Several of our mutual friends were concerned about this new behavior Jennifer was displaying. 

They encouraged me to go to talk to her.  I did. 

Without going into the specifics of the conversation, what came out of it was her encouraging us to go to a Chi Alpha meeting with her.  

We did.  That night was so powerful that it made me become a baptized Catholic.  I don’t think that is what Chi Alpha and its leader were expecting from me.  

So, I have had an interesting relationship with Jesus Christ and at 58 years old, it still continues to be an interesting relationship.  

Time To Truly Trust Jesus Christ

As some of you know, on or around April 8, 2021, the principal of the school where I was teaching music told me, “Hey, Paul.  I hate to tell you this.  Ya gotta leave Jesus Christ in the parking lot.”  

I did push back.  

“Did you tell all the gay teachers and those who support the gay teachers to take down their Pride flags?” 

His answer, “No.  That is different.”  

“What?  You don’t think there aren’t Christian students who would like to know who the Christian teachers are?  We only get to know who the gay teachers are?  What about BLM?!  Did you tell all the BLM supporters to take down their banners / posters?” 

Again, “No. That is different too.”  

The same man who was principal is moved into the district office.  

On October 6, 2021, he hosts a meeting about me.  Along with me and him are the new principal (never had been a high school principal; doesn’t know who I am), vice-principal, and the union representative. 

At that meeting, there are five complaints against me. I will share two of them:  I said, “I love ya” to a student and stop using social media.  

The student was failing guitar class.  I told her, “You (the student) are failing all your classes.  Therefore, I need to step in and help you.  I am moving you away from Matthew and Mark not because I hate you or I am mean to you.  Nope.  I am moving because I love ya!”  Context wasn’t considered.

“See Paul.  You’re old.  You got gray hair.  In any context, saying ‘I love ya’ to a student is strange.  You need to stop that.”  The union representative said nothing.

Then, he says, “I don’t care about your first amendment rights.  You gotta get off social media.  You are an embarrassment to yourself, the principal, the school, district and you are upsetting the students and parents.”  Same response form the union representative. 

There is much more to share, but that is enough.  Ya get the picture.  

On October 15, 2021, I notified the district I was going to resign / retire.  

Retiring three years before I would have earned my full retirement.  

I just could NOT be part of a system where I could not have the same freedoms (display my love for Jesus Christ as the gay teachers were able to display their understanding of ‘love’ / be able to share my thoughts on social media) as my colleagues enjoyed.   


Like the obvious of water being wet, my career had its ups and downs.  But, what was always an up?  The number of “friends” I enjoyed.  

I LOVE PEOPLE!  I do.  Loving people should be a REQUIREMENT for teachers.  

But, something happened.  When I resigned early / retired early the love I had for people was all of the sudden not be reciprocated.  

I was not getting phone calls asking how I was doing.  

No one contacting me to help them with their music programs.

Oh, let’s make it clear.  I was getting a phone call or two from ‘new’ people, but certainly not people I had thought I would.

I appreciate Dean and Chris for giving me the opportunity to continue to add value to their schools.  It has been a blessing.  They need to hear that again from me. 

I Feel Like Job

It is important for you to understand where I am going with the current stage of my life.  

I am doing two Bible studies.  One is one I have been doing for years, “OUR DAILY BREAD” and the other is a gift from Dean, “STAND ON THE WORD” Journal.   

“OUR DAILY BREAD” and “STAND ON THE WORD” were both at the Book of Job at the same time!!  How could that be anything but a message from God?  Two different studies focusing on the same book at the same time.  The message:  READ / STUDY the “Book of Job” and apply that to your life.

Ever since that infamous Chi Alpha meeting, as a Christian I continue to grow to understand, there are no such things as “coincidences.”  Thank you, God, for this moment. 

Using this fantastic source, let me give you some really wonderful food for thought!  Part of this next part of my life is to give those who need it some understanding how I can get through this major change in my life.  A change that has created loneliness, setbacks, rejection, and yes, NEW FRIENDS / SUPPORTERS!

Answers–helpful or hurtful

Job’s friends come to Job with the intention of bringing comfort. In their effort to accomplish this, they think back to what they have been taught and try various ways to interpret the meaning of Job’s suffering. The main answers they bring are that Job deserves his suffering, that all humans are sinners so even good people are not immune from suffering, and that God may use suffering to teach us something. All these are common answers, even in our day, to questions about suffering and may be helpful to some people. But they can be hurtful rather than helpful to others.

I do think there are people on the “sideline” attempting figure out me.  I am sure there are those friend who believe like Job’s friends, “Paul deserves his suffering.”  But, they leave out the next part,”,,,that all humans are sinners so even good people are not immune from suffering, and that God may use suffering to teach us something.”  I believe they leave at that next part because they are not on the same path to becoming a better Christian person.

Educational value of suffering

Perhaps suffering is intended to teach the sufferer, to bring one back to a proper sense of priorities, to provide warning that to continue such behavior may lead to even worse calamities. This is one common understanding of suffering in both Old and New Testaments. It gives a more positive view than to regard suffering only as punishment. Both Eliphaz (5:17-27) and Elihu (36:8-12) try to apply this answer to Job.

Thanks to this part of the story, I understand the suffering I am going through is part of the experience leading me closer to God.  God is the one who is going to lead me through the suffering.  He will also place people in my life and take people out of my life He feels will help create His teaching.

Sinful nature of all humans

Job is a tough problem for those who think of suffering as retribution for one’s sins. Job is, obviously, a good man, and there are many worse sinners around. Eliphaz, in particular, solves this problem by declaring his low estimation of all humans (see 4:17-19 and 15:14-16). Since all are sinners, no one can claim to be innocent and immune from suffering as a consequence of sinful behavior. This idea does not explain why some suffer and others do not.

I continue to do what I can to teach my friends all of us have sins and therefore, we are all sinners!  If your actions / lifestyle are considered to be “Biblical sins,” I can still be your friend.  I can still love you.  I can still care for you.  All I would ask in return?  Do not force me to say what you are doing is NOT a sin (according to the Bible).  The Bible is meant to change us, not for us to change the Bible.

Speaking the truth

Job urges his friends to speak the truth about God and human sin. He is convinced that they are so desperate to defend God’s good name that they are willing to tell lies about Job (13:1-12), thus making what looks like an injustice against Job into an example of God’s justice. Pious words about God that gloss over the reality of earth’s turmoil and pain are not helpful to the sufferer. Suppression of lament is all too common among religious folk.

My goodness!  This is powerful! “Suppression of lament is all too common among religious folk.”  That is it!  I lament over the way my career ended (possibly took at hard change) and frankly, the change of public education that I did not see until I was told, “you don’t have the same rights as the other teachers.” (Paraphrased)

Bottom Line

Again, I am on a crusade to convince people:  EVERY ANSWER TO A QUESTION CAN INCLUDE ONE WORD:  “GOD.”  Before you take that pill / shot / do what the counselor tells you to do / hang on to a job that goes against your morals, SEEK AND GIVE GOD A CHANCE!  My hope and yes, PRAYER, is when you read this article you will say, “GOD HAS THE ANSWERS!”