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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Children: Our greatest vulnerability

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I have spent a fair amount of time poring over motor manuals in my day. As the official family "mechnic," it has often fallen to me to read repair instructions for Danny while he's flat on his back, gravel biting, dirt falling into his eyes, his wrench wedged deep in the underbelly of whatever vehicle is in need of his attention.

The instructions are usually straightforward, once you understand the terminology. They can be a little misleading in their simplicity, however. After all, how hard can it be to follow a two word sentence of instruction? Such as, "Remove engine." Oh. OK. Sure. No prob, Bob. Remove engine. Talk about easier said than done...

Years ago, the motor manual that covered Danny's Ford Ranger pickup promised him "hours of enjoyment working on your Ford." Well, they were right about the hours -- kind of missed the mark on the whole "enjoyment" concept, though.

Several years ago, a friend of Danny's declined further discussion on the who of Jesus and of following him because, "It sounds too easy." He must not be familiar with motor manuals.

The who of Jesus and faithfully following him has stretched both Danny and I to the point of breaking more than once over the years. This old world, and its ever increasing darkness, conspires against faith at every turn. And I doubt it will ever stop, this side of heaven. In fact, whoever is in charge of the thermostat keeps turning up the heat. The murder of Kailee Clapp is but one example of the lengths to which the enemy will go. And she is not the only victim of Friday's crime. Although unable to reclaim our souls, it seems the enemy is determined to steal our testimony, no matter the cost.

Just watching the continued decline of our culture is enough to rock the foundation most days, but when that isn't enough, the gloves come off and he gets personal, attacking our health, our finances or our personal relationships. The enemy has an excellent track record of destruction. Nowhere, however, are we more vulnerable than when the assault targets our children.

Danny's temper has only scared me three times in our life together. The first time was when Ben was injured by thoughtless playmates shoving him into a bed of coals used to roast a pig for a fellowship dinner. The playmates weren't in any danger, but the adults that left that open pit untended barely escaped unscathed.

The second incident involved our youngest, Patrick. He was making his way to a friend's house when he had to pass by a chronically cranky neighbor sitting on the sidewalk working on his car. Since the sidewalk was blocked, Patrick detoured onto the man's lawn. The man hit him with a screwdriver while he verbally upbraided him for trespassing. I'm sure he never did that again.

The final incident involved Lisa, who at 15, attracted the attention of a 32-year-old man. Thankfully, his ill-conceived intentions were uncovered before anything happened, or else I would be spending my weekends in Caņon City visiting my incarcerated-for-life husband there.

We are most vulnerable where our children are concerned, no matter how old they get. I'm sure that when the children were small, we believed that once they were grown and on their own, our vulnerabilities where they were concerned would diminish. It simply isn't so. I lamented not long ago on what ended up being my last Facebook post, "The Lord blesses you with children. You love them, feed them, protect them and prepare them (you think) for the world and the world? It just sucks them up, chews them up and spits them out. My heart breaks for my children, wounded by this wicked world."

The enemy of every man is still pursuing his dream of unseating God. And he doesn't care who gets in his way. Nothing is off-limits. Not you, not me, not even our precious children. There is only one defense. There is only One who has overcome and in overcoming, has given us the strength to stand, even as everything around us falls.

"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." 2 Corinthians 4:8, 9 (NIV)

I don't have all the answers, but I know the One who does. Let's walk together for awhile and discover Him; together.

Dawn


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Beautiful, Dawn. My heart breaks for the friends and family Kailee Clapp, but my mind keeps turning over the last sentence of Revelation 7:17: "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." In the end, the enemy can't win.

-- Posted by saveryhinze on Wed, Jan 26, 2011, at 5:12 PM

Amen, Lori, thank you for the reminder!

-- Posted by newdawn on Wed, Jan 26, 2011, at 6:36 PM

Thank you, Dawn. May everyone find a positive avenue to follow, and have a better Community closeness, especially in Jesus. The Evil one is not asleep, nor tiring.

-- Posted by Navyblue on Wed, Jan 26, 2011, at 7:22 PM

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but if the killer fully accepts the lord and asks for forgiveness then he will also be allowed into heaven.

What kind of system is that?

-- Posted by Damu on Thu, Jan 27, 2011, at 7:17 PM

Damu,

I refer you to the apostle Paul, who consented to the arrests and murders of believers. He found forgiveness and justice in the Lord. At his conversion, he was shown all that he would suffer as he went forward in his life -- God is just, Damu, and He is merciful. He knows the heart of this young man, as only He can and we are called to trust Him, even with this.

Furthermore, if this young man cannot be forgiven after coming to repentance, then who can? Can I? Can you?

As it stands today, if convicted, this young man's life will be effectively cut off, whether he spends his life span behind bars or pays the full legal penalty, as determined by the State of Nebraska. He will be brought to justice and will suffer the consequences of his actions. That is all that we can do, and we leave the rest to the only true Judge.

-- Posted by newdawn on Fri, Jan 28, 2011, at 5:01 AM

@Newdawn A simple yes would have sufficed there. Personally, I have never brutally murdered someone though. The way you say that kind of cheapens the crime IMHO.

-- Posted by Damu on Fri, Jan 28, 2011, at 9:16 AM

@Damu,

The subject matter is of much too much importance for a simplistic, pat answer.

I'm glad you've never brutally murdered anyone, neither have I. However, if you recall the message Jesus gave in the Gospels, hating one's brother was tantamount to murdering him, at least in your heart -- the heart that only God can see and rightly judge.

That being said, I must confess that I have not kept the Law in its entirety anywhere close to perfectly, and I assume you've had a slip or two as well. Thus, our need of forgiveness, for the wages of all sin is death -- not just the sin of murder.

-- Posted by newdawn on Fri, Jan 28, 2011, at 7:00 PM

@Newdawn I think its somewhat morally reprehensible to throw what I or you have done which could be construed as sin, in comparison with brutal murder.

I always find it interesting the way that religous people in general are able to rationalize their own behavior utilizing secular concepts of good an evil beings. I also find it interesting that people are thankful when both good and bad happen to them. Odd stuff for sure.

Another thing that I'm fairly curious about. I've studied the bible fairly thoroughly. During the course of this I understand that people aka humans do not become Angels. Any person who dies will not become an Angel in heaven since they were created long before man. I see quite a bit of confusion over this, is this do to lack of knowledge in the tenants of Christianity itself, or willful ignorance?

-- Posted by Damu on Sat, Jan 29, 2011, at 5:47 PM

@Damu,

All sin may not be equal, ie; brutal murder compared to stealing a loaf of bread -- however, all sin separates us from God, hence our need of forgiveness, hence our need of Jesus.

I'm not sure why you have interjected the comment on humans rationalizing their behaviors utilizing good and evil beings. Save that for another day, another debate. Suffice it to say that when God created man, He said, "It was good." Now, not so much, once the knowledge of good and evil was released by created man's disobedience, prompted by the enemy's presence in the Garden.

You are correct. Humans do not become angels. Where this popular opinion emerged from, I do not know. Cultural Christianity (my term for the "feel good gospel" that permeates our society today) admittedly has a serious problem with providing a sound basis of the teachings of Scripture and has a disappointing track record of correcting a false teaching. As to whether or not it is willful ignorance, you would have to ask each person espousing belief in the tenants of Christianity to give an accounting of what they have done to "grow in grace and knowledge."

-- Posted by newdawn on Sun, Jan 30, 2011, at 5:51 AM

@Newdawn An interesting answer. I'll admit though the whole concept of sin and god is somewhat silly to me. God created the angel that would later become satan, with full knowledge of what would happen. Creating a being to test us and knowing the outcome of such test it makes little sense to me how free will could be involved.

Ah the second statement actually goes hand in hand with what I've been observing in the community. With all the calls of getting back to church ect. How if people were more religious things of this nature wouldn't happen. Sadly, history shows us that this is patently false.

Excellent, I'm glad we are on the same page with angels. Now, perhaps you can provide a bit more insight for me. The rapture. I've recently been hearing a number of news stories that proclaim it will take place sometime this year. I've also seen a number of other people with predictions on it. Now, the bible explicitly states that no one will know the end of times besides the son and god. What is the point of whipping up hysteria for a date that cannot be known according to ones own scriptures?

-- Posted by Damu on Sun, Jan 30, 2011, at 2:29 PM

@Damu,

Despite your personal misgivings about the motive behind creation, God's foreknowledge of the fall, and all of the attendant consequences of it, only in God can true justice be found, which brings us full circle. Free will is clearly expressed in every man's life, as each man chooses what to believe. You and I have both chosen, it seems that we've chosen differently.

Depending on organized religion to make a difference in our world is not the same as depending on God. In one, we trust other men, in the other, we trust God and choose (there's that word again) to follow Him.

As to the rapture and end of times, you are right in saying that no man can know the hour. However, we are given to know the signs of the times and the current geopolitical climate and groaning of nature revealed in severe weather, earthquakes and the like, seem to speak to a worldwide preparation for the Lord's return. That being said, there are those who point to the end of time in order to point people to the Christ and His salvation. There are others who point to it in order to "make a buck," and then there are those who live each day knowing that their own end is the end of time for them and choose to live their lives accordingly. Because we are sure of one thing; it is given unto man once to die and after that, judgment.

It is important to work out this issue of God and created man, our fall and our redemption, apart from all of the confusion brought about by men of questionable motives, because this life is not the only life -- it goes on, even after we've shed these jars of clay -- and what comes after is of much greater importance than what seems to matter here and now.

-- Posted by newdawn on Mon, Jan 31, 2011, at 5:32 AM

damu,

Why would you keep responding to the opposition of your views?

The answer to your question to newdawn lies within your answer.

I'll explain upon your reply.

-- Posted by Nick Mercy on Thu, Feb 3, 2011, at 11:52 AM

I'll answer without response.

If "truth" is your response then THAT is the answer. You can't have ying without yang. How could you possibly explain the color of white without have an opposing color black to reference to? I don't pretend to speak for God, but it seems that it might be difficult to give people free will and allow themselves to do whatever they wish, without recourse, and yet have order. Enter the devil. Without the devil, satan, lucifer, whatever name he'll go by, there wouldn't be hell. I don't believe that God wishes harm on His people, recourse yes. It's not like there isn't a list of rules set forth to keep people on the right course, it's called the 10 Commandments. The 10 Commandments lead people down the paths of peace and righteousness.

In order to show the truth, there has to be a tangible opposition. White and black.

So far as mass hysteria goes with the rapture, well He wants the truth be told. Only part of a truth is nothing more than a lie really. Example: "What took you so long?" "I ran into traffic." That may be the truth but if he which made the statement stopped off at the bar before hitting the traffic, well then it isn't truly honest. Besides that, the Bible is a book, and as it is said in the literature industry, "The ending is the most important part of the book." You wouldn't expect to read a John Grisham novel only to find that the final chapter had been excluded would you? Furthermore, He threw in the "no one will know when, until the final hour" clause, to keep those which are proclaiming the end of the world, from causing said "mass hysteria".

I certainly can't say that I am ready for Armageddon at this time, so I hope that the Aztecs weren't privy to information that the rest of society isn't, but when that time comes I hope to be prepared.

What would your thoughts be, I wonder, if hell fire began falling from the skies, the sun turned red and the Earth began to shutter right in front of your eyes, would you say aloud... "This is bad, quite a coincidence, but hey I've had a good life." Or would it tend to be a bit more humble, and proceed in this type of fashion. "WHAT! HOW COULD THIS BE HAPPENING?! HOW CAN I BECOME A BELIEVER IN THE NEXT 5 MINUTES!" But the good news is this.... You, right at that moment would become a believer, luckily for you. Ironically the rapture would become your salvation.... something others that have passed before never had the benefit of experiencing prior to moving on to that "nothingness" that they expected after death. Quite a paradox really.

-- Posted by Nick Mercy on Fri, Feb 4, 2011, at 5:32 PM

@Nick Sorry for the delay here. I wish the gazette would do email notification of responses to make my life a bit easier here.

I'm not sure how familiar you are with the Aztecs. Any society that believes child sacrifice will appease whatever deities they happen to believe in is far gone from the realm of any kind of sanity.

In the normal world we need white and black. However, as an all powerful deity you could simply grant that knowledge unto all of us when we were born. You wouldn't need multiple religions and excessive nonsense.

Which brings up another interesting point. At the time of the rapture, which god are you going for? All religions have predictions about the end times. Statistically, your geographic location dictates your religious affiliation. Perhaps the ones that are right at that point in time just got lucky?

The ten commandments are a pretty nonexclusive list. I'm curious if you'd be okay with the Old Testament punishment for rape come back? Its not really in the commandments so technically it isn't illegal. Heres a handy chart I made for you in regards to the punishments that should be doled out according to the commandments.

http://i.imgur.com/0Ue1g.jpg

-- Posted by Damu on Mon, Feb 14, 2011, at 8:04 PM


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