Good morning all,
Just wanted to check in and let you know that I have not forgotten about you. I hope you are enjoying your summer and accomplishing the projects you have started. It is hard to believe that it will soon be August. Where does time go? The good intentions I had to work on a project this summer were interrupted by the purchase of a new "fixer upper" home by my oldest daughter. We finally got them moved in this past weekend and now it's time to catch my breath a bit. I have also embarked on a new learning adventure in health care so time has been scarce. Through it all God has opened up opportunities for me to bask in the richness of the teachings found in the Book of Genesis and Exodus this summer. I have also been working to better understand the character traits of my Creator. Thankfully I'm feeling like I have accomplished a bit of my goal. God-willing I will be back writing in the fall. Until then may I share the following that has been heavy on my heart?
The recent massacre in Aurora, Colorado and the school shooting in my own hometown of Chardon, Ohio back in February of this year have awakened me to the darkness that threatens to overtake that of which God intended for good. It has also caused me to re-evaluate how I respond to evil as a follower of Jesus Christ. Our human nature tends to default to judgment and personal opinion; but if I may, I encourage you as Christian's to be careful. As representatives of Jesus Christ we are called to reflect Him to a hurting world. It would be foolish to ignore the character traits of Jesus as we wait for justice to play out in the courtrooms for people like T.J. Lane, James Holmes and many others who are awaiting their fate for crimes committed against humanity.
There has been so much chatter from within the Christian community that I wonder if we truly understand the heart of Jesus. Do we understand that Jesus was a man full of compassion for sinners, of which I am one? Do we know that not only is God a god of justice, but He is also a god of mercy and forgiveness? Do we understand that He calls us to reflect His image? His word says that "He" will right every wrong. I think this means I am to emulate His example, not feed off the toxins.
Recently I took notice of the response by the prosecutor who will be putting together the case against the accused shooter in the Colorado massacre. She was asked whether or not she would seek the death penalty in this particular case. She replied that she would be looking at many things including input from the families directly affected. I personally applaud that answer and I pray she is genuinely sincere. It is my opinion that we must understand the Biblical definition of the "death penalty" as we await the overall decision. There are people on both sides of this issue but I have to wonder, how many have taken the time to ask "What does God say about the death penalty?" I was very surprised at the Biblical evidence I discovered and I now better understand the topic and trust God for the outcome.
It has been evident through the response of some of the people directly affected by these senseless acts of violence that they reflect something very different than the norm. If I ever find myself in their shoes I want their attitude. I want to be able to reject bitterness and hatred in order to find some sense of peace.
Please take a moment to click on the link below and check out the testimony of one of the shooting victims. I am grateful for his example. It certainly appears that he understands something that some of us might be missing? Let us not forget that Jesus came not only to save sinners, but He came to heal the sick. Instead of criticizing or condemning, let's pray that one day God can reach the hearts of all people who are residing on the wrong side of good. Let us not lose sight that the enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10) that of which God intended for good. Let us not forget that love conquers evil.
In Christ by grace,