Author detail's:

Judge Tom Parker
Full Name: Judge Tom Parker
Website: 
Email Address: tparker3neo@gmail.com
Tom Parker is a husband, the father of six and the grandfather of three. He works as a judge in the court of common pleas, dealing with felons and all manner of civil cases on a daily basis. Tom came to faith in Jesus Christ in 1999 and has found his life to be on a constant path of change ever since. Even as God continues to work in his life, Tom recognizes that he has a daily need to ask for grace and mercy.

About Judge Tom Parker

Tom Parker is a husband, the father of six and the grandfather of three. He works as a judge in the court of common pleas, dealing with felons and all manner of civil cases on a daily basis. Tom came to faith in Jesus Christ in 1999 and has found his life to be on a constant path of change ever since. Even as God continues to work in his life, Tom recognizes that he has a daily need to ask for grace and mercy.

God’s Time: Part One

Judge Tom Parker
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God’s Time: Part One | October 2nd, 2013

God’s Time: Part One

Parker #7 photoI confess.  I am a wimp when it comes to being able to endure things.  Maybe it is a character flaw.  Or maybe I am just a product of the modern age.  Maybe it is because I am a guy.  You know, we are the type who diagnose a problem, identify and apply the solution, and want the issue fixed.  Now.

The Bible has dozens of encounters involving people who were forced to endure long periods of hardship, torment and stress.  The heroes in these stories kept their faith in God and endured.  Have you noticed how, when we read these Bible stories, we can be lulled into forgetting how horrendous the predicaments the people were in because we already know how the stories end?

For example, Joseph was imprisoned for two years on a false rape charge.  His best hope for an early release went up in smoke when someone he’d helped completely forgot about him.  The entire story of Joseph’s imprisonment and his subsequent release and triumphant rise to power is captured in a little over two pages of the book of Genesis.  You can read the whole account of this part of Joseph’s life in about ten minutes.

What’s striking about this is that Joseph had no idea how long he was going to be imprisoned.  Unless we force ourselves to reflect, we completely miss what being held indefinitely must have been like for him.  In those days prisoners were not protected by constitutions.  They had no trial and no rights.  Take a few minutes to ponder this: Joseph faced a predicament that he did not deserve and as far as he knew, it was not going to end while he was still alive.

Why does this matter?  [Read more...]

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Prune Thyself

Judge Tom Parker
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Prune Thyself | September 4th, 2013

Prune Thyself

Half Dead TreeI was driving down the road the other day and came upon a half dead tree.

You know the kind.  It was a tree that was inexplicably healthy and partially dead at the same time.  What is amazing is that such trees are often perfectly healthy the prior year.  Then, spring comes and a portion of the tree never comes back to life.

People can be like that.  Someone’s life seems to go great for a while and then, seemingly out of nowhere, it is as if a part of the person just stops working right.  This can be particularly true for someone’s spiritual life.  A person who is healthy spiritually just goes dry.  They can’t pray and they can’t serve.  And they don’t know why.

So, back to my tree.  I stopped my car and said to the pathetic looking thing: “Prune thyself!”  Nothing happened.  Then I wondered if the tree even realized it was half dead?  Trees don’t look in the mirror, after all.

As I gazed at the juxtaposition of dead gray wood and a thousand bright green leaves it made me wonder some more.  Were there any dead limbs on me?  This is not a question I normally ask myself.  Think about it.  When we think things are going okay in our lives, we are content to let things stay as they are.  Unless I’m on a fitness kick, I rarely want things to change.  Like most, there are times when I actively resist change.

Is that God’s way of dealing with us?  I’m afraid [Read more...]

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Busted

Judge Tom Parker
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Busted | July 15th, 2013

Busted

BustedWhen I was seventeen, two of my friends and I thought it would be a bright idea to see who could get back to our leader’s house the fastest.  The only problem was that we were in three cars.  Another problem was that my two friends got a head start.  I got stuck at a light at the corner of a very busy intersection.  My bright idea?  Tear through the corner gas station – never mind the people filling their cars – and shoot up Richmond Road.  I knew I could catch them.  Sure the speed limit was 40.  My 55 mph pace wasn’t too bad.  As I turned west on South Woodland, I really picked up the pace.  I’m pretty sure I was the only one going 70 in a 35 that night.  The real problem?  The police officer who had watched me short cut the intersection had taken a keen interest in my case and was on my tail the whole way.

Busted.  And I knew it.

In the moments while I waited for the policeman to come to my door, I thought of fifty excuses I could give the cop.  It was my friends’ fault.  They were the cause of my conduct.  Maybe he’d believe that I should get a warning since the road was deserted.  Maybe he’d be lenient because I’d never had as much as a parking ticket.

He wasn’t. [Read more...]

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I Can Hear You Now: A Tale

Judge Tom Parker
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I Can Hear You Now: A Tale | May 6th, 2013

I Can Hear You Now: A Tale

Mini Blinds 2

Dawn leaked through the mini blinds inside the hospital window. The pastel walls looked gray in this light. Like my mood.

My eyes scanned the dry erase board. The “Today Is” date was two days old, again. When I’d first noticed this two weeks ago, my mind had screamed to my limbs to get up and fix it, to make a simple correction. Now, I was getting used to the idea that I could not walk. I still wanted to tell my nurse to fix it, my mind not yet accepting that I could not talk.

In a couple of hours, my wife would be here. Thank goodness. These days were awkward to say the least. She’d enter the room with a burst of energy, hoping to see overnight improvement in my condition. She’d disguise her disappointment when none was evident. She’d update me on the news in the neighborhood. She’d stare at her phone and read me emails and texts from our kids. After thirty minutes or so she’d wear down and human silence would settle in the room once again, leaving only the blips and bleeps of the monitors.

I remembered writing a blog post years earlier in which I’d commented about talking and reading to my mom as she lay unable to speak or move in her hospital bed. Years before that, I would read short stories to my dad when he was immobile after his strokes. Now it was my turn. My spirit cried out to the Lord to deliver me, but nothing seemed to be changing. At times, I could hear the doctors talking with my wife in hushed tones outside the room. I was glad I could not hear their reports.

At noon, my wife would open her Bible to the list of Scriptures I’d written down after my mom died. I’d been a little cryptic, labeling the envelope, In case I can’t talk to you someday. I was glad I had prepared for this. Each would begin with these sweet words of eternal truth:

You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. . . You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me; your right hand will hold me fast . . . all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Including this one, I’d think.

On and on she would read, sometimes two hours or more. God’s words, living and active, would refresh [Read more...]

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Can You Hear Me Now?

Judge Tom Parker
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Can You Hear Me Now? | March 19th, 2013

Can You Hear Me Now?

Can You Hear Me Now?If there was one bit of information you would want to hear from your mom before she died what would it be? Would you want wisdom about how to live a meaningful life? Would you want to be told that you had been a faithful son or daughter? Would you want to know that some past misdeed had been forgiven? Would you want the combination to her safe?

For me, I would want to hear that my mom had placed her faith in Jesus Christ for the salvation of her soul.

My mother died a couple weeks ago. She encountered a medical issue that required surgical treatment. The treatment led to complications. My mom never regained her ability to speak or move after the anesthesia wore off. The whole episode thrust my family into the world of physicians, intensive care nurses, respiratory therapists and, finally, hospice workers. It was excruciating to watch one of the most important people in my life waste away and die in a matter of twelve days.

My mom and I had discussed her faith several times before her final illness. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that I discussed her faith in her presence. My mom was from a generation that did not like to discuss issues of faith. [Read more...]

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Tears

Judge Tom Parker
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Tears | March 5th, 2013

Tears

TearsThese tears were real.  Sometimes they are not.  But as the handcuffed hands reached together to take another Kleenex, the tears would not stop rolling down her cheeks.

Tissues can dry up phony tears, but they cannot stop the flow of real ones.

This thirty-four year old woman made a simple request: “I just want to be done with this.  It would be easier for me if you just sent me to prison.”

“How would that make things easier?” I asked. I don’t normally send people with low level, non-violent felonies to prison.  It is not favored in the law and rarely produces the behavioral change we all desire.

“I wouldn’t have to keep coming back to court for violating my probation.  Judge, I’m tired, and I just want to be done with all this,” she said again.

There was something about her [Read more...]

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Celebrities

Judge Tom Parker
Written By:
Celebrities | January 31st, 2013

Celebrities

JordanWhy do we care what they think?  Everywhere we turn these days, whether to a television advertisement, the newspaper, a magazine, the Internet or even to a news broadcast, all we see is a steady diet of these people. Who are they? Celebrities!

Do you doubt this? Try this experiment. At your local health club or YMCA, station yourself on an elliptical machine near the usual row of televisions in place to occupy the minds of the people working out. While you are working up a sweat, allow your eyes to scan the TVs for thirty minutes. Count up the number of “famous” people you see on the array of channels before you. You’ll be impressed with the final count!

The issue of why we care so much about what celebrities think [Read more...]

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