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Posts Tagged ‘humanity’

March 20, 2017 marked a day of loss for a very good friend of ours. Her mother passed away. Less than two years ago, I lost both of my parents and so I understand how she is feeling at this moment.

We knew her mother and she was a wonderful Christian lady. There is no doubt in my mind that she is now absent from her body and present with her Lord. I know that the family is as assured of this fact as I am, but it does not take away the sorrow and loss that is being felt right now.

Sorrow and loss are feelings that we all must face because our original perfection was destroyed by our open rebellion against God. Yet God, in His mercy, chose not to leave us in our sinful state, but in His Sovereign Will, would one day restore that perfection.

Until all of creation is renewed, we will be very well acquainted with shedding tears. There is nothing wrong with expressing sorrow over lost loved ones. Jesus himself wept in the Scriptures. There are two recorded instances of Jesus crying. Once over the loss of a dear friend and the second over His beloved Jerusalem. However, Isaiah 53:3 tells us that the suffering Messiah would be “a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.”

Throughout the life of Christ, I believe that he saw tremendous amounts of sorrow and grief. I also believe that because of His love for us, he shed many silent tears.

We are told that time heals all things. As nice as that sounds, I do not believe that. Death is our enemy. We were created to live, not to die. I’m not even sure that time lessens our sorrow and grief over the loss of a loved one. I think it is more accurate to say that we become adjusted to live with the loss. Regardless of the years that will pass, one rogue memory brings everything back, and that feeling of loss will still be there.

First Thessalonians 4:13 is the light at the end of the very dark tunnel of sorrow. That light is hope. So yes, even as Christians we will experience sorrow and grief. Our consolation in this is that we know a day is coming where our hope will be fulfilled in the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

One of my favorite verses in Scripture is Revelation 21:4 which states “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

For now, my family grieves for our friend and her family for their loss. I pray that in the days to come, she will cling close to our Savior and be assured that one day soon, the sorrow will be gone and our age old enemy, death, will be swallowed up in Victory.

 

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I was watching some news for a bit. I felt like being nauseous, and the news is usually the best way for me to accomplish that.

The last thing I looked at was the story of the disabled man being tied up and beaten in Chicago. One news reporter mentioned that if this case is “raised” to the level of a hate crime, the four attackers could face up to 30 years in prison. Most of you have probably seen the news report but here is a link to what happened.

Chicago beating

As I watched the video, and read the report, I wondered something about hate crimes. Is not “hate” the motivator behind all crimes? People love to jump on the “No Hate” band wagon for their favored group. But is one group any more important then another? Politicians fight and babble over gun control. We can take the gun out of someone’s hand, but until the hate is taken out of the man’s heart, there will be no change. If not a gun, then some other weapon.

So we as society have decided how much hate constitutes a hate crime. And what if I disagree with the measuring rod? Does that make me a hater? Am I as guilty as the attackers in the video if I don’t agree with someone?

You are by now thinking this post ridiculous. Maybe it is. Just seems to me that it is just fine for me to hate, as long as I hate the same things you do. Just don’t let my hate leave the boundaries set by society.

But wait…what if we lived in a world with no hate, no violence, no crime, etc. Oh wait, that would be called heaven. I’m not there yet, but watching the news often makes me wish I was.

 

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It has been so long since I have logged into my own blog that I could not remember the password. That may be good for the two of you that read this, but I’m not sure yet.

Do I have a good reason for dropping out of life? Or perhaps I should ask is there ever a good reason for dropping out of life. I wish I had a good answer to that question without relying on some old and pat cliché.

The past two years have not been good. Starting with the death of my mom on July 7, 2015, a very good friend on July 18, 2015, my father-in-law on September 5, 2015, my dad on October 9, 2015 and the list continues on like that for two years.

Of course many have told me that I am depressed or wallowing in the depths of despair and need to seek out “professional” help. I do not feel depressed and I am not wallowing anywhere (outside of the occasional times I get my wheelchair stuck in the mud).

What I do feel is reflection. Even now I have a very good friend in New Zealand, from playing on line games, who is only 35 years old, laying in a hospital bed, and feels like giving up. I also have another very good friend in NYC that is scheduled for back surgery on Tuesday for spinal stenosis. So this new year is not looking much brighter then the last two years.

It is very easy to ask why…but we all know why. What I ask is “Have I done enough?” Have I been there when people need me? Have I offered a smile, held their hand, laughed with them, cried with them. Could I have done more? These are the questions that cause me to reflect as I go into 2017.

My only New Year’s resolution is that I want to be a better person for people when they need me most.

In my book, regret is a much worse feeling then depression.

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IMG_9012I am sure that most of us have heard that the only two sure things in life are death and taxes. The Bible speaks of only two people that escaped death…for the time being. And as for taxes, I could write a lengthy political treatise concerning taxation. Many try to skirt around them, avoid them and even lie about them. But eventually the tax will be collected in one form or another. Henry David Thoreau thought he could go without paying his taxes because he did not agree with how they were being spent. He ended up spending one night in jail because of it and probably would have been incarcerated longer if family members had not paid the tax.  But since I am not in the mood to discuss the pros and cons of civil disobedience, I’ll leave that one alone.

What I do want to propose here is a third item that cannot be avoided – history will always repeat itself. I’m not even referring to a large global scale of this reality, but on an individual and personal level.

Our youngest daughter graduates from college on Friday, and Wendy and I will officially have the empty nest syndrome. She will be overseas for the summer working on an internship, and when she returns, she will be starting graduate school. I have spent the last couple of weeks listening, watching and doing a lot of thinking. Everything that she is doing is something so exciting and new for her, but something that is not so new for a dad that is 52 years old. Thinking back over the portion of those 52 years that I can remember, it is like I continually press some enormous rewind button and keep repeating the same positives and negatives of my life. Every time I think something is done and over with…voila! There it is again.

For instance, when I added my book, Better to Be Broken, to the millions of other inspirational books clogging the shelves of bookstores, I looked at that as a parenthetical moment in my life. Book written, story told, lessons learned and time to move on. That was not even a year ago and I already find myself dealing with so many of the same issues I wrote about. Perhaps a little twist here, a slightly different nuance, or a new person involved, but the same story repeats itself nonetheless.

Everyone speaks of the “great circle of life,” but I think I would prefer the great timeline of life. Always moving ahead, facing new and uncharted territory and leaving the past behind. Of course we can learn from history. Things to do better or different, and pitfalls to avoid. The only problem with that, is that I often find I learned nothing, along with the rest of humanity, and am doomed to repeating my previous failures.

So as Ariel faces her future with arms open wide, I pray that she also has her eyes open wide. Perhaps she has watched me enough over the years to avoid some of my mistakes. She may make some new ones of her own, but perhaps, just maybe, a little portion of history will not repeat itself.

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