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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Ferguson, Don't Quit, In His Steps

Many people are thinking about what happened with Michael Brown & Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, & the fact that the officer was not brought to trial.

People are quick to treat Officer Wilson as a racist or judge that he abused authority, but they never stop to think of the shoe being on the other foot. What if the officer was black & a young adult white man larger than he was fit the description of a suspect announced over the radio?
What if the evidence of the theft was in the young man's hand & he was showing no respect for authority?
What if the white young adult was high & came & attacked the black officer & struggled over his gun? 
What if the white guy came back at the officer looking as though he might attack again?
 Should this sad incident really be about color?
 Is this not a case where a teen made wrong choices, & a cop doing his job risked his life?
Too many people have a we / they mentality.

We can all feel sad for the choices Michael Brown made that brought about this situation where he lost his life. Teens need to learn to respect authority & obey the laws, but more than that...the Michael Browns & Darren Wilsons of this world both need the Gospel of Christ. 
White, brown, black & all the beautiful shades God created...all people need to see their sin & what Christ did on the cross for the ungodly.  It isn't about skin.  It's about sin.  He died for sinners like you & me.
What is the Gospel? 

Don't quit. What do you think of when you hear these words?

The words sound simple, but what if not quitting means suffering, danger, or putting your life at risk? Whether you are going through physical or mental suffering that makes you want to end it all, or you are a police officer, a soldier, a fireman, a medic, a missionary, someone treating Ebola, a student, an athlete, or an out of work person waiting for a job you probably know that endurance is difficult.  Are we willing to suffer rejection, hatred, pain or to risk our lives for the sake of others?    Are we willing to suffer for those who might hate us? 
If you are a Christian, are you willing to suffer for Jesus' sake even though you may not see any apparent positive result?

Please listen to the following message beginning around 40 minutes in & hear how a life was saved literally, or listen to the individual "Don't Quit" message further down.

Check Out Religion Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Cross Encounters on BlogTalkRadio

We have begun the In His Steps book as a family recently, & last night I rented the modern 2013 movie adaptation of the book. The movie was pretty good except I felt it may have over-emphasized works without pointing out the Gospel is foremost. But we should show compassion as Christians.
The acting could have been better, but I do like that it pointed out that faith without works is dead (although we are in no way saved by them...but unto them.)

UPDATE: I do not recommend the In His Steps book. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Will You Find Peace & Refuge?

I have been reading All of Grace by Charles Spurgeon, and I found out you can read it online as well!
So, if you want to join me, this is a book for non-Christians & Christians alike!

"Who knows how many will find their way to peace by what they read here? A more important question to you, dear reader, is this—Will you be one of them?"
All of Grace by Charles H. Spurgeon

 I'm still unable to use my one arm much, so my blog posts will continue to be few for awhile.
At least my stitches are out!  I'm now working on trying to straighten my arm.

God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.
 Psalm 46:1 NASB

The following song is one that came into my head as an encouragement some time back, and a family member found it online.  Just imagine Fernando Ortega singing it as I do.


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Tomorrow Will Care For Itself

I had my ulnar nerve transposition surgery on October 31, and I am typing one-handed right now.  My arm is in a splint and I struggle with claustrophobia and pain.  This surgery involves two long cuts in the arm, so that the nerve can be moved.  My other arm's ulnar nerve has a problem too.

I am thankful God helped me not be as stressed the morning of the surgery as I thought I might be.  After the surgery I had nausea and pain.  I did actually throw up once at home.  The pain pills were great for a day or two, but then I itched and my face turned redder than it already is.  I went into the ER on a Sunday to get something new for the pain.  They required giving them the old pills, so my sister offered to bring them.  Well, she ended up tripping on a bedspread and banging her head on a treadmill with her knee getting a little hurt and her foot in a trash bin.  It was not a very good day, but she did get to the ER with the medicine ... and they gave her ice for her head.

The new medicine didn't get used long, as I had two panic attacks in the early morning hours that I figured may have been brought on by the medicine (although I've had panic before in my life).  Family came to my room, and I prayed for God to help me.  Music was used to help calm me. Panic often drives me to focus on my desperate need to trust God more  One song I tried to sing I will share below along with one other I remember from years ago.  The singer (Fernando Ortega) led music at a church service We attended on Saturday nights many years ago in California.  I am taking over the counter pain pills and using ice packs for pain.  Just imagine the pain you feel after having an adult tooth pulled and add having a way too tight wrap with a little swelling along with a heavy weight and a few nerve throbs for good measure.  Yes, and a mummified arm that is bent at an angle that you can't straighten.  And....that's my dominant arm.

Thank you to the Christians who have prayed for me.  I hope for more arm freedom to move this Tuesday, even though physical therapy and recovery will be long and uncertain.  I hate to think about the other arm....
"So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.   Matthew 6:34 NASB

This is one of the songs that helped distract me from panic. 

Here is another encouraging and soothing song that has a good reminder for believers.