Fighting Blind…

tMy heart aches for the young wife and mother who lost her husband and two children in a horrific accident early Saturday morning on the 91 Freeway in Artesia.  (See story here).  Similarly, people across this nation are mourning the recent killing of two African American men – one in Baton Rouge, the other in suburban St. Paul, Minnesota. And our hearts are still tender following the killing last week of five Dallas police officers.  Most of us do not personally know the families of the victims in either of these cases.  Yet, we still mourn. We grieve too because we can all relate to loss.  We all know what it’s like to lose someone or something.  Whether it’s a job, house, our health or loved one, we all know….. Loss hurts.

I believe one of the lessons that can be learned from the tragedies of life is that we are more alike than we are different.  We all hurt. We all have fears, and we all suffer loss. At the same time, we all want safe and clean neighborhoods in which to raise our children, and so on. If that were not the case, how then do we explain the outpouring of emotion this past week from coast to coast concerning the deaths of men that most of us have never met. We’ve not met their families, but our heart breaks too.  We somehow feel their pain.

In this moment, failing to recognize that we are more connected than we are disconnected is like fighting blind. We have more similarities than dissimilarities regardless of race, ethnicity or social status. By failing to recognize this fact we fall right into the hands of the enemy. It’s his job to create distractions that turn our focus to what divides us as a nation rather than what can bring us together. It’s my prayer that the children of God recognize this ruse for what it is and respond accordingly. This is a spiritual battle that can only be won with spiritual armor.  Trying to fight the enemy of our soul any other way is like fighting blind.  Ask yourself, who goes into battle wearing a blindfold?

Selah!

Meditate on this:  “Put on the whole amour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” — Ephesians 6:11-12.

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Jesus Wept…

The Bible states in the John 11:35 that Jesus wept (read John 11:1-44) upon hearing the news of Lazarus’ death.  Just as Jesus showed compassion towards his friends Mary and Martha who mourned the death of their brother, I believe the heart of God is grieved while full of compassion towards those who are mourning the loss of loved ones this week.  In the last two days, we have witnessed graphic cell phone video capturing the deaths of two African American men who were killed by police. As if this weren’t enough tragedy for the week, a suspected lone gunman tried to settle the score Thursday evening by shooting to death five Dallas police officers and injuring innocent bystanders who were nearing the end of what otherwise would have a been a peaceful rally  against questionable police practices across this country.

Whether sinner or saint, there can be no more denying that this nation is in trouble. We cannot allow civilized discourse to be replaced by gun violence as the way to respond to disagreements or injustices, no matter how grievous.  An “eye for an eye” philosophy will never solve our problems. Darkness cannot be overcome by more darkness.  The Word of God is clear on this. And while the world has changed, thankfully, the Word of God has not. Only love can conquer hate.  God is love. Therefore,  love is the supreme power of the universe. Again, LOVE is the supreme power of the universe.  It is not hatred nor is it  bigotry – both powerful forces that appear to be winning at the moment.   Yet, because love is stronger than hate, those who choose to demonstrate love will always be on the winning side, no matter what it looks like today.

Selah!

Meditate on this: When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life”.  — John 8:12


Be Still and Know ….

I am thoroughly enjoying my extended visit to Michigan.  It’s been a long time since I’ve traveled to my home state during the summer months.  Since this is a working vaycay, I normally start the day with prayer and then jump right in to the day’s tasks at hand – checking e-mails, updating my blogs, research, etc.  Today was different.  I felt an impression in my spirit to sit still.  To simply sit.  Admittedly, sitting still and doing absolutely NOTHING is not normal for me.  Today, I decided to obey and do something different. Guess what?  It felt good! I sat for about three hours on my parent’s deck enjoying a cup of coffee and a mild summer breeze.  It felt good to observe and enjoy the beauty of the trees surrounding me.  ‘You definately need to do this more often,’ I told myself.

In our fast-paced society sitting still is not the norm. It can be a real challenge especially if you’re a busy-bee accustomed to always running to the next assignment. Beware. Trying to solve every problem and accepting every invitation that comes your way is a sure recipe for disaster.  Burnout is soon to follow. I know. I’ve been there and done that. Trust me, it’s not a pretty picture. I’m thankful for today’s reminder that sitting still and enjoying the presence of the Lord is the best way to start the day.  Emails can surely wait.

Selah!

Meditate on this: “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10