todd clark

The Road To The Love Ranch

I have been a Laker fan for more than a decade and continue to be a Lamar Odom fan. What is playing out for the public to metabolize is so painful to me.

I understand, while a man is in the hospital fighting for his life … this is not a good time to make judgements about his character or conduct.

I am not here to judge or condemn Lamar Odom.

It’s just that I feel such hurt from this situation, and I see so few people speaking out as to what leads to this kind of outcome in a man’s life. So, here are a few thoughts as I try to process all of the events surrounding Odom these past few days.

1. Pray for Lamar and his family. No matter our beliefs about Lamar’s actions, we should pray for him and those friends and family surrounding him during this time. Pray that God would grant them peace. Pray that this would lead to introspection and consideration about how each person chooses to live their one and only life.

2. What no one seems to be saying. I have seen, heard and read all kinds of sympathy and support for Lamar. As mentioned above, I believe this is proper and right. But what I have not seen is anyone saying, “He was in the wrong place!”  He spent four days in a brothel and was abusing cocaine and taking sexual performance supplements. Is this not wrong? Will we get to that when and if he gets better? I am shocked that his out of bounds actions have been on the bench during this whole story.

3. Who you hang with is often who you become like. I have no idea who is in Lamar Odom’s circle of friends. But his immediate company, for the 4 days prior to his collapse, knew that he had taken cocaine. They also knew he ingested as many as 10 powerful sexual performance supplements.

– They knew this!
– Someone supplied this!
– They were together for 3-4 days!

I cannot help but think that though Odom might have felt a kinship and chemistry with these people, they were not his friends.

4. I have a lot of questions. There is all kinds of talk about how the combination of cocaine and “spiked” performance supplements likely led to Odom’s current condition. And indeed that plays a part in this horrible experience in Lamar’s life. But I cannot help but ask questions like …

  • Is his current condition the result of other poor and reckless decisions?
  • If so, how long have these patterns been evident in his life?
  • Is it normal for a person to spend 4 days at a brothel?
  • Who was with him?
  • Was he alone?

An article today in USA Today says the brothel was a “pornographic pit-stop on the road to nowhere in particular.”

I feel so much pain that Lamar did not have anyone along the way coaching him diligently in life as he did while he was on the court.

5. Sometimes our blessings become our greatest burdens. One of the hardest things to live with is fame and affluence. Where we live in the United States of America gives all of us tremendous benefits and blessings that when taken to an extreme can actually wreck our lives. There is no doubt that Lamar has lived with pressures that I could never understand.

6.Who will be next? I think of all the men who have been and will be led astray in the near future looking for love at the Love Ranch.

  • The brothel may be legal.
  • It may have a public website.
  • It may have catchy slogans, bright lights, and accept credit cards.
  • It may appear fun, safe, acceptable and mainstream.

But do not be mistaken, it is an isolated and barren desert place on a road to nowhere.  To get there you must literally travel down an unmarked road off NV-160 … you are 30 minutes from anywhere you would normally go.

It makes me think about the explicit wisdom of Proverbs chapter 5:1-14 (Message)

1-2 Dear friend, pay close attention to this, my wisdom;
    listen very closely to the way I see it.
Then you’ll acquire a taste for good sense;
    what I tell you will keep you out of trouble.

3-6 The lips of a seductive woman are oh so sweet,
    her soft words are oh so smooth.
But it won’t be long before she’s gravel in your mouth,
    a pain in your gut, a wound in your heart.
She’s dancing down the primrose path to Death;
    she’s headed straight for Hell and taking you with her.
She hasn’t a clue about Real Life,
    about who she is or where she’s going.

7-14 So, my friend, listen closely;
    don’t treat my words casually.
Keep your distance from such a woman;
    absolutely stay out of her neighborhood.
You don’t want to squander your wonderful life,
    to waste your precious life among the hardhearted.
Why should you allow strangers to take advantage of you?
    Why be exploited by those who care nothing for you?
You don’t want to end your life full of regrets,
    nothing but sin and bones,
Saying, “Oh, why didn’t I do what they told me?
    Why did I reject a disciplined life?
Why didn’t I listen to my mentors,
    or take my teachers seriously?
My life is ruined!
    I haven’t one blessed thing to show for my life!”

If you called the Love Ranch brothel where Odom spent Saturday to Tuesday in a pornographic environment, you will get a recorded message. It says, “We’re not taking any ‘line-ups’ today. But maybe tomorrow.” This is referring to the “line-up” of women who parade in order to be selected for sex from interested and well financed companions.

With this kind of recording, all I can think is that there will be many more men who will face horrific experiences like Lamar Odom. But they won’t be famous, so we won’t hear their stories.

This is not a “new” path or place as mentioned in Proverbs 5.

This makes me sad.

I am praying for Lamar Odom.

I am also praying for men everywhere to choose to live a curious life.

A curious life that finds pleasure, confidence, acceptance, adventure and intimacy in Jesus Christ.

  • Julianna Reply
    October 17, 2015

    Touching, eye opening and live changing…. I appreciate this blog!

  • Becky Reply
    October 17, 2015

    What I have been most bothered by about this situation is that many have been praying for him and hoping he will get well (as well they should)…but when Josh Duggar was caught in his lifestyle of sexual sin…the response was so much different. People didn’t hesitate to call him a pervert, among other horrible things…instead of saying they would pray for Him, they lumped all Christians together as the problem and for their hypocrisy. I have not seen one thing that calls out Lamar for his horrible lifestyle and calls him a loser, pervert, sexual deviant or other things. Such a double standard.

    Let us all become a nation of compassion and instead of trying to hurt people that hurt others…let’s try to understand them and get them the help they need to become whole again.

    • Kelly Reply
      October 17, 2015

      Children were involved with Josh Duggar that’s the difference.

    • Lucy Reply
      October 18, 2015

      Becky, in addition to Kelly’s important point, Josh Duggar was the executive director of Family Research Council Action and was very outpsoken against same-sex relationships (not to mention marriage, equality, etc.), likening homosexuality to perversion and calling it harmful to those involved and society as a whole. While we should absolutely pray for the Duggars as well, the difference here is hypocrisy of epic proportions.

  • Ernie Reply
    October 17, 2015

    Kelly. I think Becky was referring to the adultery scandal. However, Josh Duggar is a representative of Jesus Christ. He will be held to a higher standard. Is it fair? Probably not. But that’s the way it is. Those that are not Christian just don’t understand that we can fail. So when we do, it’s a big thing in their eyes. As, for Lamar, He is a part of the world so the world doesn’t condemn him. But I don’t want anybody to put themselves in those situations. I pray for him and may he find the Love of Christ through all this. Jesus is the only one that can pull him through.

  • Koach Keysha Reply
    October 18, 2015

    So wise and kind!

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todd clark


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