Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Serious Survivalist Skills

We've spoken before about the Pennsylvania police officers whom were ambushed. One was injured and the other was killed. In our previous discussion, they were still uncertain as to whom they were looking for. I called him a cowardly cop killer. Apparently, he's a planned perpetrator with serious survivalist skills. Feel free to read the article here.

So, they're looking for this guy, Eric Frein, in the Poconos Mountains. There's a lot of rugged terrain, cliffs, and even wetlands in the area. Frein is a self-trained survivalist and some experts are thinking he can't handle it that long. They are saying that he'll run out of food, or that the thermal-imaging equipment will detect his presence. However, they are also admitting that he may have a bunch of homemade bunkers out there where he's stored supplies.

Obviously this guy had planned his attack and therefore the potential for him to be more prepared than they realize is great. Besides, how long are they really going to invest 100s of men searching the mountains for this guy? I know that they're cops and therefore the camaraderie and bond is great, but there are other things that need attending to as well. I suspect this Frein character, if he planned properly, might just have enough stuff to outlast their efforts given time constraints and the financial burden. However, I also anticipate that there will be bounty hunters ready to pounce on him for the reward money if not just for the notoriety.

So, where's the Spiritual tie in here? I guess I could go down a couple of avenues. I could discuss the
fact that sin will eventually be exposed no matter how hard we try to hide it and even if it's not, guess what, it leads to death. Essentially, either Frein will get caught or he'll die out there alone. I could remind you that running from our guilt doesn't erase it. It's impossible to hide from God. He doesn't need thermal imaging technology to know your location even in the deepest, darkest forest or most atrocious mosquito-infested swamp. You cannot hide from His view.

If we realize that no sin is truly hidden, then it would behoove us to get on our knees and take ownership of our faults and failures. Let Him cleanse you from those atrocities. He can make you white as snow. More importantly, He wants to. Bring your murderous deeds to His feet and watch Him heal all your hurts.

Father, help us realize that we can't sin bigger than You can forgive. Remind us that we need You and that we can't hide from You. Cleanse us and bring us to our knees when necessary. We ask these things in Jesus' Name. Amen.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fear and Compassion Rarely Meet

People are freaking out about these potential mega-viruses, these plagues that seem to have suddenly attacked our reality. In fact, there's a ship docked in Louisiana right now that has people fearful. Apparently, it's come from Africa, in the general vicinity of the place that's experiencing an Ebola outbreak. Feel free to read the article here.

There were people on board who were sick, one of whom had to be transported off the ship prior to it even arriving in the port because the necessity for treatment was so high. This severity of illness has doctors concerned that Ebola might show up here. Of course, the CDC is saying the risk is low but they did accept this patient in their HAZMAT suits as a precautionary

I want you to realize, that fear and compassion rarely meet. I suspect that those working on this sick individual are doing their best, but I also suspect that they aren't being overly loving. They're following protocol and that's about it. Obviously, that's my assumption, but I want you to think about fear in your own life, particularly as it has pertained to other people...

If homeless people, let's say, creep you out, chances are you aren't going to actively seek an opportunity to assist them. If you're afraid of people carrying diseases like AIDs, you're probably avoiding them, not reaching out in love. You see, our fears hinder us from doing His will. What's His will? You might be asking. Well, that's simple, it's unity. He wants all things united in Christ and if you are a believer, you're supposed to be helping bring people to the Kingdom. You can't do that if you're afraid.

There are other issues within our brothers and sisters that we fear, things that they are doing that we somehow think will rub off on us. We fear drug addicts, prostitutes, homosexuals, etc. Why? Jesus wouldn't have. He didn't let sin, or illness, scare Him away, He didn't let fear into His life, period. Nope, He approached the despised, the outcast, and He offered them love that healed!

Listen, friends, it's high time we took Paul's, "to live is Christ and to die is gain," attitude. We'll do a lot more for the Kingdom, and push toward achieving His will, if we do. So, don't fear Ebola or any of these other things you are seeing in the news, the Scriptures tell us that they are bound to happen. Instead, look for all the opportunities He places before you each and every day. Shine the light, even to the infected. Remember, sin is a disease that leads to death too.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Let it Rise

So, since we are all totally focused on the stars of the American screen, it's no wonder that there's a piece on Yahoo! this morning about Ben Affleck and his upcoming movie role, Batman. He apparently has revealed a deep-seated connection to Batman's character (though the writer of the article suggested he was more closely connected to the Hulk). That connection of course, is anger.

Obviously, this link between Affleck and Batman is admired, or at least ok'ed as it's not a negative article. Though thankfully, Affleck admits it's a character flaw to let anger build until explosions are imminent and disastrous. At lease he recognizes there's a problem, but I didn't really notice any resolve to rectify it.

However, he did say, "I should sit down and say, 'Listen, I just want you to know what happened there wasn't OK,' instead of going, let it go, let it go, let it go...'Ah, that's not a big deal,' until finally you just pop!" I guess as they say, knowing is half the battle, at least he's not denying the problem exists. Perhaps that's where we can learn something...

I wonder if you'd be willing to take a deep look at your life, analyze your day, your week, your
month, your year and determine how many (even if you can't count them exactly) episodes of explosive anger you've participated in. How many times have you succumbed to that rise of rage? Which, brings me to my title: Let it Rise.

If you think I am suggesting that you should allow that explosive emotion to burst forth, to erupt from your being, you are quite wrong. Instead, the implication here is to let it rise up to your King, lift your inability to maintain peace and tranquility up to Him. Hand over those minor irritants that turn into mountainous anger. Let every ounce of imperfection within you rise up to Him; hand it over.

We are all Batman-like if that means harboring hidden anger. Sadly, most of us are unwilling to admit it and that's why we do great damage to the ones we love. We lash out at them over minutia
while denying we've got issues with our temper. Batman's a superhero, a creation of the imagination. Ben Affleck's a movie star, most of his behavior has been written down for him. What's interesting is that even in our imaginations, our heroes and stars are full of anger; surely we can't deny this is human reality. Admit you've got an issue with anger and then let it rise to the One who can enable you to fix the problem.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Cowardly Cop Killers

Perhaps you have seen the news about the Pennsylvania police trooper that was slain after a coward ambushed he and another officer. The fallen officer leaves behind two young boys and a devastated wife. You can read the whole article here.

I am saddened by the loss of life. I am particularly saddened by the loss of a father's life because the children that are left behind without that strong moral support, without that leadership are forever deprived of the means to understand a God that calls Himself, Father. It also creates a gulf of anger and a rift between those children and the King.

I am more bothered by cowardice. You see, I believe the enemy is a coward; that's why he has to use trickery and deception and ambush to destroy. If he were certain of his own abilities, he would make his presence known and his plans clear. Instead, he has to sneak up on us and like the cowardly cop killer in this story, take aim at us from a place in the woods, securely hidden from view and before we even have the chance to defend ourselves.

I suppose the best advice here is that we should always be aware of those dark spots in our lives, those wooded areas on the peripheral. Keep your eyes open, your ears alert and be prepared to fire back!

I hope we'll all lift up prayers for the family of Cpl. Bryon Dickson, who was murdered in an act of revolting cowardice. I ask that we also pray for Trooper Alex Douglass who was shot in the ambush as well, but is expected to survive. I also hope we'll pray for bravery in the face of danger and Faith in the One who saves!