Orlando Shooting: The Hard Part Most Are Missing

Shooting_at_Pulse_Nightclub-Wikimedia Commons

Emergency vehicles on scene at the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando

I just want to share a few thoughts on the Orlando Shooting. Thought number three in particular is the most difficult and it applies to you, and to me.

1) It’s a horrible tragedy. This was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Fifty died, and fifty-three were injured. My heart breaks for the victims and their families. They’re in my prayers and I hope they’re in your prayers too.

2) We need to guard against acts of terror in the most sensible and effective way possible. This is where everybody wants to go when they discuss the Orlando tragedy. This is the part that’s most popular in the media and in the blogosphere. I have my own opinions, but the purpose of this blog isn’t to offer up the actions I believe we should take to prevent attacks like this one. The purpose of this blog post is to focus on something more difficult.

3) The hard part, the most difficult thing we need to guard against, is this: Continue reading

Ray Charles’s Daughter Sheila Raye Charles: Things I Heard In Church

I heard Ray Charles’s Daughter Sheila Raye Charles speak at our church Tuesday night, after the Jesus Table.

She told her story of sexual abuse, Continue reading

Monty Williams’s Words At His Wife’s Memorial Service

Wise Words

Last Tuesday, in Oklahoma City, a car crossed the centerline and collided head on with the vehicle of Ingrid Williams, the wife of Monty Williams, an assistant coach for the OKC Thunder and former head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans. Monty’s wife was killed in the crash. They have five children.

Last night on TNT’s NBA halftime show, rather than talk about hoops they aired this video of “what Monty Williams had to say in the wake of unspeakable tragedy.”

Things I Heard In Church: This amazing quote about Joseph’s brothers’ brutal cruelty

Things I Heard In Church:

This amazing quote about the way Joseph responded to the brutal cruelty shown to him by his brothers. Continue reading

Myra Thompson, a relative of one of the Charleston shooting victims said this:

Myra Thompson, a relative of one of the Charleston shooting victims:

“I forgive him and my family forgives him. But we would like him to take this opportunity to repent” and “give your life to the one who matters most: Christ.”

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References:

Powerful Words of Forgiveness, Washington Post, June 19, 2015

9 People Murdered And The 1 Thing That Can Make A Difference

If You’re A Christian There Was A Death In Your Family Wednesday Night

Witnesses said the gunman specifically asked for the church’s well-known pastor, the Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, who was also a state senator, and sat next to him in the Bible study. First he listened, they said, then he argued, and eventually he began ranting against black people, until finally, he stood, drew a gun and fired, reloading as many as five times.

He fatally shot six women and three men, ranging in age from 26 to 87. Among the dead was Mr. Pinckney. (New York Times, 6-19-15)

Nine people. Nine people were murdered, during a Bible study just the other night. There’s anger and outrage all over the country because of it. But you know what? Even before this tragedy there was anger and outrage everywhere. Everywhere we look we see it. We see it on Instagram, Facebook, TV, and Twitter where friends, family, talking heads, and politicians rage against one thing or another. Or against one person or another. Do you ever share your anger and outrage? Or do you ever have urges to share your anger and outrage?

Did you know there is someone in the Bible like that? Continue reading

Why You Can’t Add Jesus To Your Life

Christian SufferingThe Night Jesus Came To Eva

I just read an amazing story from Eric Metaxas‘s excellent book Miracles. It’s a story about a woman named Eva Meyer, the daughter of a brilliant physicist, Dr. C.J. Meyer. Dr. Meyer was as gentle as he was brilliant and a loving father, but unfortunately his other daughter, Eva’s sister, didn’t take after him or her mother.

In the early 1990s Eva was given her sister’s infant daughter to care for, and later, her infant son as well. Eva raised them as her own for four years. She also did her best to protect them from the destructive lifestyle of their parents’ who were ensnared in substance abuse. Eva’s sister would spontaneously take them away from time to time, but Eva had no custody rights to the children and was helpless in the situation.

About ten years passed. Eva’s sister was living in Seattle and now had six children. The oldest of them was ten. Eva’s sister said she wanted to pay Eva a visit and flew out to her home in Connecticut for Christmas. But what she really wanted Continue reading

Who Did He Think He Was?

Mercy

Who Did He Think He Was?

I heard this story recently about a guy who ran a construction company. He was very successful and not surprisingly, he was industrious too. And when he drove he was often on his way to do something important.

Now this man is a Christian and, from what I understand, a guy you would probably describe as mild mannered if you talked with him face to face. But, if another driver did anything to slow him down when he was on the road, he would lose his composure. Bad drivers made him angry.

Then this man, the one with the anger, was diagnosed with cancer. And with the cancer came the treatments.

Well one day Continue reading

How One Mistake On Twitter Destroyed A Woman’s Life (And what we can learn from it)

This one mistake on Twitter destroyed a woman's lifeMorbid Fascination

Last night (at the time of this writing) I read this very insightful article in the New York Times. I was so morbidly fascinated I just couldn’t put it down. It was about a woman traveling from New York to South Africa to visit family. While she was on a layover in London, she sent out a tweet. This tweet of hers, it was an awkward attempt at humor. But it had to do with AIDS and race–and it was definitely more awkward than it was humorous.

After she sent this tweet she checked for a response but there was none. She only had around 170 Twitter followers, so that’s not too surprising. But what happened next was very surprising.

During the eleven hours she was in the air between London and Cape Town, South Africa, a writer and editor of a blog with 15,000 Twitter followers got wind of her tweet. So he posted it on the blog he edits, and this began a chain of events the woman never anticipated. Continue reading

Extreme Forgiveness

forgive

Tunnel 13

A thirty-something friend of mine, Harold Cunningham, recently asked me about a problem he had. He shared this in confidence but after he told me what he did, I found it to be so radical, I asked his permission to write about it. Continue reading