Tuesday, August 13, 2013

That Bull Shark Enemy

Today's news, via ABC: "All of a sudden, we realized something was wrong," Hussey said. "We even on the boardwalk could see that it was a shark." The animal snapped at Royston's leash - a cord every surfer wears around his ankle to tie him to his board. Royston was pulled underwater and his surf board went straight up in the air, perpendicular to the water. "Somehow, I don't know how, he had the presence of mind to take off his leash," Hussey said. "He got away, and the shark was tangled up in the leash."
Ok, so here's this kid in the middle of some surfing competition and shortly after the Discovery Channel airs Shark Week - whamo, a bull shark pulls him off his board and underwater. This Hussey person that ABC quoted is saying that this wasn't an attack but an encounter...claiming that if the shark had wanted to attack, the outcome would have been different. Perhaps Hussey is correct, although the insinuation that the shark got caught up in the leash kind of screams attack to me. I am quite thankful that the shark was unsuccessful in his/her desire for destruction, but I'd call it an attack anyway.
As I was reading this article I was thinking, "How many times does the enemy attempt to attack us, to pull us off our boards and try to drown us?" When I think about it that way I definitely would label this an attack. I have to consider the armor of God that we are to put on everyday and then I wonder if this kid had that kind of armor on him or if his angel that sees God's face (Matthew 18:10) just took care of him? Regardless, we need to be keenly aware of the enemy's frequent attacks, or encounters. He's always looking for ways to take us down, to destroy us.
How many times has he succeeded? How many times has he grabbed the leash that holds you to your Faith and shook it so hard that you lost your balance and slammed into the oceanic current of sin? How many times has he sunk his razor sharp teeth into your resolve to turn away from evil, your conviction to leave a bad relationship or give up an addiction? How many times has that bull shark enemy defeated you? Finally, I have to ask you, why? If you serve the God of the universe, the King of Kings, there is absolutely no reason that the enemy's encounters need to be attacks. Pray that if he manages to get you off your board you'll have the presence of mind to get out of the water leaving him to get tangled up in his own mess.

Monday, August 12, 2013

He will give us a heart transplant...

Teen Denied Transplant Over 'Noncompliance'
Yep, that's the title of a piece found on ABC. Here's what the writer had to say, "Doctors at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston told the family of 15-year-old Anthony Stokes that they won't put him on the transplant list because of his history of "noncompliance," according to ABC's Atlanta affiliate WSBTV. "
Incredible, right? Hard to believe for sure, but click here to read it. Anyway, when I saw the title on Yahoo, I thought "You can't be serious?" However, they are indeed serious. Apparently Anthony has been in trouble with the law and has poor grades. In addition, he's got an enlarged heart and only six months to live. I'm willing to bet that in his humanity, good grades and being buddies with cops aren't at the top of his to do list. I'm not condoning bad behavior in the slightest, but I just wanted to preface my conversation on the topic with the fact that I get it, who's worried about being a law abiding citizen and a straight A student when he's only got six months left on earth? At least, what unsaved, average Joe is?
That's where the main issue comes up for me. First of all, who are these doctors, or hospitals, or administrative bigwigs that feel they have the right to condemn this 15 year old to death? After all, denying him a transplant is a sentence in itself. What if your bad-behind child was in the same situation? Would you be ok with that kid missing out on life due to previous poor choices? And here's where I really want your thoughts to go...what if God said, "Sorry, no eternal life for you due to noncompliance. You haven't proven that you will walk in My ways." Look at what they said about Anthony: "They said they don't have any evidence that he would take his medicine or that he would go to his follow-ups," Melencia Hamilton, Anthony's mother, told WSBTV."
Seriously, what if God told you, "You haven't shown that you will read My Word, that you will spend time with Me in prayer, sorry, I am denying your salvation opportunity." Here's the thing, we are all noncompliant when it comes to Holiness, Righteousness, we can't prove ourselves prior to our salvation and we can only attempt to afterward, but at least He gives us the chance. This kid needs to be given as much a chance as anyone else on that list. He might not have proven himself thus far, but that's possibly because he's figured he didn't have a reason to, just like the rest of lost humanity. We should be so thankful that our Father loves us, that He gave His Son for us and that no matter how noncompliant we have been in this life, He will give us a heart transplant (Ezekiel 36:26).

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Everything with a Grain of Salt - Shark Week

So, it's Shark Week on Discovery. Thankfully, Verizon has provided the whole thing On Demand. Thusly I had the joy of watching the first day's episodes this evening. This means that I saw the piece they did on Megalodon and I am definitely not the only one. In fact, CNN reported, "The "Megalodon" show brought in record ratings for Discovery, with 4.8 million viewers tuning in. In the 26-year history of Shark Week, "Megalodon" is the highest-rated and most-watched Shark Week episode to date."

The CNN article seems to be pretty angry with the Discovery Channel for airing this show which implied, though failed to prove, the current existence of megalodon. I have to laugh at the whole thing because of course they cited that, " as National Geographic notes, the megalodon has been extinct for millions of years..." Perhaps you are wondering why I find that funny? Well, who at National Geographic has been around for millions of years? Yes, I get that they use so-called carbon-dating (this link will take you to an article on that topic) to ascertain when such extinct animals swam in the deep.

I guess I am of the mindset that all kinds of pre-historic things can still be out there. I'd prefer to cite the Word. Job spoke frequently about a being that he called the Leviathan. Isaiah describes it as a serpent (Isaiah 27:1 - I envision the  Loch Ness Monster); Job talks about reeling it in with a fishhook (Job 41:1 - I think megalodon) and David writes that it frolics in the sea (Psalm 104:26) . The truth is, as  "The executive producer of Shark Week, Michael Sorensen, points out...with 95 percent of the ocean unexplored, who really knows?" It doesn't seem like something to get your panties in a wad about.

Listen, if the Bible can reference large creatures that are extremely horrifying, I really don't have a problem believing that megalodon is still out there. Does that make me a quack? If so, ok. Look at what Job warns, "When Leviathan rises, the mighty are terrified; they withdraw because of his thrashing..." (41:25 HCSB). I suspect the people that were in that cage when that giant thing swam by were pretty terrified, not to mention the people whose boat got sunk. Science is great, don't get me wrong, but the truth is, science came from man's desire to prove God's existence and has since turned into the complete opposite. I'll tell you what my dad always tells me, "Take everything with a grain of salt."

Monday, August 5, 2013

We are all murderers

Teen soccer player pleads guilty in death of Utah referee

This is one of the many disturbing headlines today. Yes, a seventeen year old kid got mad at the ref,
punched him in the head and killed him. Initially they thought the guy would live but then he went into a coma and died a week later. What are we teaching our children about sportsmanship? When did it become ok to just punch someone because you didn't like what that person said? Have we walked away from the negative stigma of being a sore loser?

I have to admit that I do appreciate part of this kid's punishment, "The teen will be required to have a photograph of Portillo, 46, on his wall and to write weekly letters to the referee's family to tell them of his efforts toward rehabilitation." I think that seeing the face of the man he killed, for the next three years as he spends his time in juvie will be quite the wake-up call. That said though, I have to wonder if we would appreciate the same discipline for every person we've killed?

What? You probably said, shocked that I would imply you are a murderer. However, if you've ever hated anyone, guess what? You are a MURDERER according to Jesus. Oh and by the way, if you've ever lusted after someone else you're also an ADULTERER. The sad truth is there are no good people. Not that I want to make light of what this teenager did, in fact I find it very troublesome. However, I know that my God can't look at any sin, whether it be the little white lies we tell our spouses, friends and children, or punching someone in the face with such force that death occurs. A sin is a sin is a sin.

Thankfully there is hope. That same God that can't look at our multitude of sins gave Himself for us so that those sins could be erased, tossed into the depths of the sea, thrown as far as east is from west. He wants to forgive our transgressions and invite us into fellowship with Him. He loves that seventeen year old and I pray that His love will be revealed to that young man so that when he comes out in three years, he will be a changed man.