Wednesday, November 25, 2015

More Family

With the birth of baby Caroline two months ago, we don’t have a photo of the whole family together yet.  It would be out of date in two weeks anyway with the birth of our fourth grandchild coming in December.  This is one of my favorites, though.  Baby Caroline meeting her cousins for the first time with the moms looking on with delight.  I thank God every day for my family.

Thursday, November 19, 2015


I watched with horror with the rest of you the terror unfold in Paris this week.   I am embarrassed to say that I understand very little about ISIS, what they are trying to accomplish, and why they would do the things they do.  One of my pastors posted this link to an article.  Unlike the usual 50-word rant that we usually see on Facebook, this was an in depth article on the subject.  Most of it was new to me, and I ended up spending most of the morning trying to understand.  What I took from the article is that ISIS is not a fragmented group of lunatics being recruited on the internet to kill people.  While this may happen, this is not what ISIS is.  ISIS is a group of people led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi who intend to follow the literal instructions laid out in the Koran that will culminate in the apocalypse.   ISIS follows the takfiri doctrine which is determined to purify the world by removing any person that does not believe as they do.  Sound familiar?  I believe we are all fully aware of the parallel evil experienced by those who were living 75 years ago.   And while the crusades of the middle ages have been characterized as religious zealots seeking to build their political kingdom, the leaders of that time were actually battling the same forces that we are now battling 1000 years later.   I believe that the collective “we” need to do whatever is necessary to thwart the people who believe their god is requiring them to rape, enslave and murder innocent people, and I rejoice in the fact that their god is not my God.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Who is the enemy?

I don’t have a lot of enemies that I know about. There may be some out there I don’t know about, but any offenses against me would obviously be minor if I don’t even know who they are.  Sure, I get upset with others plenty, but it is usually with people cutting me off in traffic. Some of my good friends just endured a year of living hell. He was accused of an offense that never happened.  A year later, he was acquitted of all charges. During the year, he and his wife had to deal with the uncertainty of when the trial  would be and whether or not a jury would hear the truth. If there was ever someone who deserved to hate, it would be them. But instead, what I saw in them was a total reliance on God for peace and a desire for the broken accuser to get the help she needs. Thanks for modeling God’s love for me.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

How bad can it be?

Our connect group from church is reading about anger this week.   My conclusion so far is that while anger is something to be avoided, sometimes that is impossible. Even Jesus himself was angry multiple times in the bible.  Anger is our natural reaction and defense to someone or something that is against our will, and if our will is good, that defense can also be good.  Unresolved anger can lead to contempt.  Contempt can be much worse that anger, because in contempt, there is an utter lack of concern for the other person.   Contempt can sometimes lead to malice.  In malice,  we are actually wishing evil or harm on another person.   The best way I can express it is like this:

Contempt: “Do whatever you want.  I couldn’t care less”
Malice:  “I hope you rot in Hell”

I believe contempt and malice are never good.  I want to be like that less.