It is with a heavy heart that I write tonight. For the last 5 days I have been listening to news reports of a crazed gunman killing innocent people. First in Portland at Clackamas Town Center, which is less than 50 miles from my home and then yesterday in Newtown, Connecticut @ Sandy Hook Elementary School. My heart breaks for the families of the 20 children and the 6 women that were killed yesterday as well as the man and woman who died in Portland this week at the mall.
I think I’m bothered more by the fact that once the media coverage dies down that those of us who are far removed from these incidents will forget and go on with our lives while those parents and people who have lost someone will never be the same again. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t go on with our lives or that we should live in paralyzing fear but I wish there was some kind of change in people that would come from this. A heart change.
I wish that people would fall on their faces before God and repent of their wicked ways before this Country who was founded on FAITH IN GOD finds itself in much greater torment than it is already in.
America is on the brink of financial disaster, there are people going on killing sprees, children killing there parents and grandparents, parents killing their kids, husbands and wives killing each other not to mention other countries that are just waiting for us to destroy ourselves so they could take over. WAKE UP AMERICA! WAKE UP CHURCH! What is it going to take to bring us to the end of ourselves and on our knees before the Almighty God who rains on the just and the unjust?
I lift my eyes to you, O God, enthroned in Heaven. We keep looking to the Lord our God for his mercy, just as servants keep their eyes on their master, as a slave girl watches her mistress for the slightest signal. Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy, for we have had our fill of contempt. We have had more than our full of the scoffing of the proud and the contempt of the arrogant.
(Lord, comfort the families in Connecticut while they grieve the loss of their loved ones.)
I want to reflect a bit today on what happened 11 yrs. ago. The day that changed America. That day our security was shaken, lives were lost, but our FAITH remained strong!! I remember the strong need to be with my children. They were 9 and 6 years old. Even at that age they understood the tragic events of children losing parents and parents losing children. I am grateful today that I have my family. I am grateful for ALL those who have given up their lives for our BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY and our FREEDOM. For 10 years after the tragedy of 9/11 I quit celebrating my birthday on that day. BUT I AM HAPPY TO SAY THAT TODAY I AM CELEBRATING but also giving HONOR to the MEN, WOMAN, CHILDREN who died on MY BIRTHDAY 11 years ago. I WILL NEVER FORGET!!
What does all this mean? How does anybody find good in all of this? I don’t know… But I heard a man say, “God is still in control.” that I know for certain. My heart goes out to the families and friends of those touched by this tragedy. I don’t have any answers but I know the One that does and I will be lifting up those people to Him in my prayers.
I’m following the blog of an atheist and he was curious as to why I would follow him because I’m a Christian. He has been on my heart for the last week.
His curiosity got me thinking. Why am I following the blog of an atheist? Well first of all I’m curious too. I want to know what atheists think about Christians. When I first read his blog I was quite impressed with the fact that he doesn’t seem like a hater. His blog was not full of curses towards Christians and it was just comfortable to read.
As a Christ follower, I would like to know what it is about our God that Atheist have a hard time with and what is it about Christians that turn people off? I don’t want to be one of those Christians that they talk about that are hypocritical and is double minded, judgmental and haters of people who don’t believe what I believe. I don’t have all the answers but I do want to be like Jesus as much as possible. It’s really hard to live in this flesh sometimes though.
Honestly, its not that I don’t like people who are not like minded with me, it’s that I fear what I don’t understand. I’m afraid to be challenged and for people to know that I don’t have all the answers. I don’t want to get it wrong. So, I’m learning that it’s ok for me to be human as long as I am willing to say, “Hey, I don’t know.”
I don’t always act the way I should or think the way I should but I do want to work on being better. So, I’m following an atheist so I can become a better person by learning from him. I know I will be a better person for it. I hope he doesn’t mind that I will ask questions. I am grateful that his blog was so…honest and easy for me, as a Christian to read.
Once my husband and I had made a stand against the enemy of our souls we also had to make a stand for a lifestyle change. This meant we had to quit doing everything we had been doing to survive on the streets. For instance, we stole pretty much all of our camping supplies we had in order to live out in the elements. We would also steal our food when we ran out of food stamps, which didn’t last very long because we didn’t have a way to refrigerate food so what we bought was mostly stuff that had to be eaten right away. We also stole to get money for our drugs.
Unlike most of the other homeless people that we lived around who would “fly” a sign (hold a sign asking for money), we got our money a little quicker with less humiliation unless we got busted for shop lifting. Then it was really humiliating.
I tried flying a sign a couple of times but I just couldn’t take the humiliation. I mean after all, who wants to stand there holding a sign while people drive by without even looking at you? Who wants to stand there and take verbal abuse from people yelling obscenities at you and sometimes even throwing things at you? It was awful! I would rather take my chances getting caught shop lifting than standing there like I’m invisible or feel like garbage as people just pass you by like your not even there.
Anyway, all these things took planning and time. I would spend most of the day planning my shop lifting sprees and then when we executed the plan usually without a hitch, then it would take time to hook up with the drug dealer and get the dope for the night. This went on day after day, night after night. So when we quit doing the dope and got right with God we had all kinds of time on our hands.
We had to fill that time with something positive or we would get bored. Being bored is not good for addicts of any kind. What we started doing was having Bible study at our camp. We invited some of our homeless family and a couple of them would come at first, but then pretty soon more and more kept coming.
We would end up having worship and Bible study for most of the morning. It was wonderful.
We kept hearing from different people how they loved the Lord but they could never step foot in a church because they felt they would be shunned or looked down upon and these broken people didn’t need that. Not long after the Bible studies began, we decided to start having church on Sundays for the homeless. We all enjoyed hearing God’s Word.
After we began going to a Church of our own (which is another story), our church family started coming out to our camp and meeting people that we lived around and loving on them. Essentially, this became the church’s outreach program. God used our homelessness to be a bridge to the body of Christ.
I shared all that to say this, God grace was abound in our life at that time (it still is) and it was so evident. I abused drugs for a good 20 years where I had grown up and went to school and learned how to party. I would have never been able to get clean and stay clean in this town without GOd’s grace. It (drugs & alcohol) was in our face everyday, but Jesus was even bigger and His presence surrounded and kept us for His glory. We continued to be homeless for about two months, then we were able to get our own place and we stayed clean that whole time.
2 Cor. 12:9 (AMP)
But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me! (2 Corinthians 12:9 AMP)
Remember, the sins of some people are obvious, leading them to certain judgment. But there are others whose sins will not be revealed until later. In the same way, the good deeds of some people are obvious. And the good deeds done in secret will someday come to light.